Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/14/1997 01:03 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 22 - CIVIL LIABILITY FOR BOOTLEGGERS                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN presented opening remarks on HOUSE BILL              
 NO. 22 - "An Act relating to civil liability for illegal sales of             
 alcoholic beverages; and providing for an effective date."  He                
 explained that the proposed legislation would make bootleggers                
 responsible for actions that resulted from the illegal sale of                
 alcohol to the individual and the resulting judicial costs.                   
                                                                               
 Representative Norman Rokeberg arrived.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE moved to adopt CSHB 22 (JUD) for the                 
 purpose of discussion.  There being no objection, CSHB 22 (JUD) was           
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN advised members that language had been added              
 under Section 1 that would explicitly express the intent of the               
 original bill.  A person who sells or barters alcohol illegally               
 would be strictly liable for civil damages to the recipient, or               
 another person.  Representative Ivan explained that the proposed              
 legislation would also require the bootlegger to pay costs to the             
 state or political subdivision of the state to criminally prosecute           
 the case.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Representative Jeannette James arrived.                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN pointed out that the third change from the                
 original version was the definition of civil damages which would              
 include damages for personal injury, death, or injury to a person,            
 including the state or a political subdivision of the state.                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN advised members that Section 2 addressed civil            
 liability for people who sell or barter a controlled substance as             
 defined by statute.                                                           
                                                                               
 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Aide, Representative Ivan, advised members            
 that the changes explained by Representative Ivan were the result             
 of input from Jim Sourant, Representative Porter's staff, Lisa                
 Kirsch, Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, Gail Voigtlander,           
 Assistant Attorney General, Special Litigation Section and Mike               
 Ford, Attorney, Legislative Legal Services.                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT pointed out some minor changes to the latest proposed              
 committee substitute (LS0148\K) suggested by Mr. Ford.  These                 
 changes would appear on page 1, line 6, after "strictly liable",              
 insert (1), and delete [(1)] on line 7.  He advised members that            
 they had some discussions as to whether the state or political                
 subdivision could be considered a "person".  Mr. Wright stated that           
 by placing the (1) after "strictly liable" on line 6, and removing            
 it from line 7, that it would be clear that a bootlegger could be             
 liable to (1) another person, or (2) the state or a political                 
 subdivision.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT advised members another suggested change to the new                
 proposed committee substitute would fall on page 1, line 10, after            
 "(2)" insert the word for.  That would result in saying that, "the          
 recipient or another person," and also "for the state" would make             
 it clear that the state was also included in the process.  Mr.                
 Wright pointed out that those changes would also be made under                
 Section 2, as everything done in Section 1 was paralleled in                  
 Section 2.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER moved to adopt Amendment 1, as                    
 described by Mr. Wright.  There being no objection, Amendment 1,              
 CSHB 22(JUD), was adopted.                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CROFT referenced page 1, line 12, and asked if            
 they wanted to recover the costs to criminally prosecute the                  
 recipient of the alcohol, or the bootlegger.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT explained, with respect to criminal prosecution, that              
 the state presently had the ability to attempt to recover those               
 costs.  The proposed legislation says that if a person who received           
 the alcohol illegally commits a crime while under the influence,              
 that the bootlegger would also be partly responsible for that                 
 action.                                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG asked if the Alcohol Beverage                  
 Control Board (ABC), and the Department of Law had any input on the           
 new draft committee substitute.                                               
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT advised members that Ms. Voigtlander, Assistant Attorney           
 General, had reviewed the language and found no problem.  Also the            
 ABC Board had the opportunity to review and consider the suggested            
 changes, and they expressed no concern.                                       
                                                                               
 MR. WRIGHT pointed out that while working through the process they            
 did have conversations with Linda O'Bannon, Assistant Attorney                
 General, Commercial Section, and the only area she was concerned              
 with was Section 1; however, she had no objections to the amended             
 language.                                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT noted that the original genesis of the                   
 proposed legislation was a result of the Chokwak v. Worley decision         
 which dealt with social hosts, and he wanted to confirm that the              
 intent of the provision was to cover those who sell alcohol through           
 the business of bootlegging, and not liability to a social host.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said that would be correct.                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to report CSHB 22 (JUD) out of                    
 committee with the attached zero fiscal notes and individual                  
 recommendations.  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                
 CSHB 22(JUD) was reported out of committee.                                   
                                                                               

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