Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 17

03/22/2005 01:00 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 120 HEALTH CARE EMPLOYEE PROTECTION TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HB 190 REQUIRED ID FOR PURCHASING ALCOHOL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= HB 180 WORKERS' COMPENSATION
Heard & Held
HB 190-REQUIRED ID FOR PURCHASING ALCOHOL                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  190, "An  Act relating  to  the purchase  of                                                               
alcoholic  beverages  and  to  requiring  identification  to  buy                                                               
alcoholic    beverages;   requiring    driver's   licenses    and                                                               
identification cards to be marked  if a person is restricted from                                                               
consuming  alcoholic beverages  as a  result of  a conviction  or                                                               
condition of probation or parole."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:35:57                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JAY HARDENBROOK,  Staff to Representative Crawford,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, explained  that HB 190  is a step  toward preventing                                                               
problem  drinkers  from  purchasing   alcohol  in  Alaska.    Mr.                                                               
Hardenbrook informed  the committee  that Alaska has  the highest                                                               
rate  of  alcoholism  and  alcohol-related  crimes  in  the  U.S.                                                               
Although Alaska has some of  the strictest penalties for alcohol-                                                               
related crimes,  Alaska continues  to have astronomical  rates of                                                               
recidivism.  Therefore, it's time for  a new approach, and HB 190                                                               
moves in  that direction.   Currently, many people on  parole and                                                               
probation for  alcohol-related crimes aren't allowed  to purchase                                                               
alcohol.   This legislation would  simply place a mark  on state-                                                               
issued identification as a way  in which those who sell alcoholic                                                               
beverages will know  whether a person is not  allowed to purchase                                                               
alcohol.   The legislation also  requires that bar  tenders, wait                                                               
staff,  and clerks  in  liquor stores  check  a resident's  state                                                               
identification before selling the individual alcohol.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:37:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  asked  whether any  other  states  have                                                               
adopted similar legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARDENBROOK  answered that  no other  state has  adopted this                                                               
specific plan.  He informed  the committee that other states have                                                               
created  special   license  plates  for  those   who  have  [been                                                               
convicted of] driving while intoxicated (DWI).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD,  speaking as  the  sponsor  of HB  190,                                                               
related  that  Oregon  is presently  hearing  legislation  almost                                                               
identical to HB 190.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  recalled  that   either  the  State  of                                                               
Washington or Oregon  put in place a "zebra  [license] plate" for                                                               
the  same reason  as  this, but  it was  withdrawn  from the  law                                                               
because of the "negative feel" it created.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:38:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD explained that  the aforementioned is why                                                               
HB 190 is  directed only toward drunk drinking.   He informed the                                                               
committee that  more than  80 percent of  the people  in Alaska's                                                               
jails  and prisons  were convicted  of alcohol-related  offenses.                                                               
Therefore,  the  desire is  to  prohibit  repeat [offenders  with                                                               
alcohol-related  offenses]  from  being  able to  buy,  sell,  or                                                               
consume alcohol.   The aforementioned is already in  law, but law                                                               
enforcement  hasn't  been  given  the tools  to  segregate  those                                                               
individuals  from  the  rest  of  society,  which  is  what  this                                                               
legislation attempts.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN pointed out  that tourists wouldn't have such                                                               
distinctions on their identification.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.   HARDENBROOK   explained   that   if   an   individual   has                                                               
identification specifying that  he or she is  from another state,                                                               
the  individual wouldn't  have  to  present [identification  from                                                               
Alaska].                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:40:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN surmised  then  that  the legislation  would                                                               
prohibit an  individual from entering locations  at which alcohol                                                               
is served.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HARDENBROOK  clarified  that   HB  190  only  addresses  the                                                               
purchase of alcohol.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  interjected  that  the  prohibition  of                                                               
individuals   [with  alcohol-related   offenses]  from   entering                                                               
locations  where alcohol  is served  is a  law that's  already in                                                               
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG turned  attention to  Section 3(6),  and                                                               
asked  if the  language  specifying that  the  license would  "be                                                           
designed to  allow the electronic reading  and electronic display                                                           
of  the information"  means  that there  will be  a  new type  of                                                           
license.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARDENBROOK  explained that  the aforementioned  language was                                                               
used  because  of the  new  electronic  driver's licenses.    The                                                               
drafter felt  that it would be  appropriate to have this  be part                                                               
of the magnetic strip on the back of the driver's license.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  surmised that this special  driver's license                                                               
would  be provided  upon issuance  of a  new driver's  license or                                                               
when an individual is convicted of this particular crime.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARDENBROOK  explained that currently  when an  individual is                                                               
convicted  of  an  alcohol-related  crime, the  license  of  that                                                               
individual is  revoked.  That individual  has to have his  or her                                                               
license reissued.   Mr. Hardenbrook  related that the  sponsor is                                                               
going to work with the chair  to develop a mechanism by which the                                                               
Alaska Court  System and  the parole  board can  communicate with                                                               
the Division  of Motor Vehicles (DMV)  in order to avoid  the lag                                                               
time that's currently occurring.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:42:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether  an individual  convicted of                                                               
an  alcohol-related  offense  would  lose  his  or  her  driver's                                                               
license even if the offense isn't a DWI.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARDENBROOK replied yes, that's  the current situation.  This                                                               
legislation is merely specifying that  the new license would have                                                               
the information specified on the license.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:43:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked whether  an individual  convicted of                                                               
an alcohol-related offense  who has obtained a  new license would                                                               
still be precluded from buying alcohol.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ANDERSON  posed  a  hypothetical  situation  in  which  an                                                               
individual who  received a DWI  20 years ago receives  another in                                                               
the next couple  of months.  If that individual  were to lose his                                                               
or her  license for 90  days and  the license is  returned, would                                                               
the  driver's  license  continue   to  specify  the  individual's                                                               
record.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARDENBROOK clarified that the  special mark would only be in                                                               
effect during the  time the individual is on  probation or parole                                                               
for the alcohol-related crime.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD clarified  that once  the individual  is                                                               
not  on  probation  or  parole,  he or  she  can  obtain  another                                                               
driver's license  without the special  mark and  consume alcohol.                                                               
The special mark on the  driver's license provides the Department                                                               
of Public Safety (DPS) the  ability to identify these individuals                                                               
from the rest of society.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked whether  an individual would lose his                                                               
or  her  driver's license  for  an  alcohol-related crime  if  it                                                               
didn't involve driving.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD answered that  it depends upon the judge.                                                               
He informed  the committee  that for  domestic violence,  one can                                                               
lose his or her right to drink.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX inquired  as to  where DPS  actually comes                                                               
into  the  picture.    She   suggested  that  it's  actually  the                                                               
restaurant  staff  and  bar  owners   [who  will  identify  these                                                               
individuals].                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   CRAWFORD   agreed   that   food   and   beverage                                                               
establishments  are the  first  line of  defense.   However,  DPS                                                               
helps  enforce these  laws.   The partnership  [between food  and                                                               
beverage establishments and DPS]  that already occurs today would                                                               
continue.   Representative  Crawford  emphasized the  need to  do                                                               
something different  to address  the fact  that Alaska  leads the                                                               
nation in alcohol-related crime.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:48:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  said, "We  can save a  lot of  lives and                                                               
make  a huge  change  in what's  going on,  and  that's what  I'm                                                               
asking for you to  do."  He opined that a  difference can be made                                                               
[with this legislation].   Representative Crawford commented that                                                               
he is sorry he didn't  take more notice of Representative Green's                                                               
legislation  four years  ago, and  that it  took seeing  his wife                                                               
lying  on  the  emergency  room table  before  realizing  what  a                                                               
problem this is for everyone.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ROKEBERG  surmised   then  that   a  94-year-old                                                               
individual in  a Title  4 premise  would have  to be  carded each                                                               
time he or she is served a drink.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. HARDENBROOK replied yes.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that  perhaps there should be a                                                               
cost-benefit  analysis  of  all  statutory  legislation  that  is                                                               
introduced.  Representative Rokeberg  suggested that probably one                                                               
of the primary  reasons this proposal hasn't been  adopted in any                                                               
other  state  is  because  it  intrudes  on  privacy  and  is  an                                                               
impediment to human interaction.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD stated  that HB  190 has  nothing to  do                                                               
with an individual's  age; it only addresses those  who are under                                                               
court order.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG interjected  that the  only way  to know                                                               
whether  an individual  is under  court order  is by  carding the                                                               
individual.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  agreed,  and characterized  carding  an                                                               
individual to  determine whether he  or she is under  court order                                                               
as a small inconvenience.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:51:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked if this legislation  applies to repeat                                                               
offenders.   He  also  inquired  as to  the  point  at which  the                                                               
[decision  is made]  to not  allow the  individual to  [purchase]                                                               
alcohol.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  answered that judges can  already decide                                                               
that an individual can't have that privilege again.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CINDY   CASHEN,  National   Council   on   Alcoholism  and   Drug                                                               
Dependence, thanked  the sponsor  for the legislation  because it                                                               
addresses  a problem  that  has  existed for  many  years.   It's                                                               
common  knowledge that  some  people are  classified  as "not  to                                                               
enter or  consume alcohol  (NEOC)".   In the  old days,  bars and                                                               
liquor stores  would keep a  list of NOECs  and would be  able to                                                               
check because  they knew  everyone in  town; and  law enforcement                                                               
could keep  a check on those  individuals as well.   However, the                                                               
state  is just  too large  and [law  enforcement, bar  staff, and                                                               
liquor  store  staff]  don't know  everyone.    Furthermore,  the                                                               
probation  dates   with  the  court   system  have   become  more                                                               
complicated  and are  ever-changing.   All of  the aforementioned                                                               
has  resulted in  many people  who abuse  their probation.   When                                                               
such individuals are  caught, the punishment is merely  a slap on                                                               
the wrist.   Ms. Cashen  informed the committee that  often there                                                               
are  offenders  who  have repeatedly  violated  their  probation,                                                               
which is  frustrating.  Ms.  Cashen opined that by  bringing this                                                               
problem  to  light,  folks  can work  toward  a  solution  that's                                                               
palatable to  everyone.  In  conclusion, Ms. Cashen  related that                                                               
the National  Council on Alcoholism and  Drug Dependence supports                                                               
this issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:55:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  recalled that Ms. Cashen  had brought to                                                               
his attention  that judges  in the  1st judicial  district aren't                                                               
applying the  DUI law  evenhandedly but rather  are using  an old                                                               
court of  appeals' case  that allowed offenders  to get  off with                                                               
lesser fines.   He inquired  as to  Ms. Cashen's thoughts  on the                                                               
aforementioned.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:56:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN characterized HB 190  and [legislation addressing what                                                               
Representative  Rokeberg mentioned]  as similar.   She  indicated                                                               
agreement with  Representative Rokeberg's comments  regarding the                                                               
[1st judicial  district].  The issue  at hand in HB  190 has been                                                               
going on for many years.   Ms. Cashen related that the sentencing                                                               
for violating probation  often results in more  time being tacked                                                               
onto that  already assigned.   Occasionally, repeat  offenders on                                                               
probation are put in jail.   The aforementioned isn't done often,                                                               
she  indicated, because  the  Department  of Corrections  doesn't                                                               
like [housing that many drunk  driving violators].  She clarified                                                               
that the aforementioned is drawn from her own observations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DUANE  BANNOCK,  Director,  Division  of  Motor  Vehicles  (DMV),                                                               
Department  of  Transportation   &  Public  Facilities  (DOT&PF),                                                               
stated  that the  division  is willing  to  support the  proposal                                                               
[embodied  in  HB 190],  although  it  has  many questions.    He                                                               
related his  understanding that in  the next few days  there will                                                               
be  a  good  grasp  of   the  number  of  individuals  that  this                                                               
legislation would  impact.   Still,  DMV is poised to  produce an                                                               
[identifying] mark  on one of  the three types  of identification                                                               
it  produces.   However,  the concern  is  regarding whether  the                                                               
division will have accurate information  as to who is impacted by                                                               
this proposed change.   There is also concern with  regard to how                                                               
the DMV  will be  able to  obtain the  information.   Mr. Bannock                                                               
informed the committee  that DMV will be attaching  a fiscal note                                                               
to HB 190.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:00:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD announced his intent  to pass the cost of                                                               
issuing  a  new  license  on  to the  perpetrator.    He  further                                                               
announced that  he would continue to  work with the DMV  in order                                                               
to address its concerns.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK  informed the  committee that it  should be  proud to                                                               
know that Alaska's  new digital license is second to  none in the                                                               
nation.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA  MOORE, Community  Liaison,  Christian Health  Associates,                                                               
explained  that she  became aware  of repeat  offenders when  she                                                               
worked for  an outreach  program.   She said  it was  amazing how                                                               
many  offenders were  repeat offenders  who  hadn't received  any                                                               
treatment  or education.   The  aforementioned  became very  real                                                               
when the  daughter of one of  the peer counselors was  struck and                                                               
killed  by a  drunk  driver who  had  a number  of  DUIs and  was                                                               
driving with a revoked  license.  If HB 190 had  been in place at                                                               
the  time, Ms.  Moore opined  that it  might have  "detoured" him                                                               
because the driver wouldn't have had  a license to present and if                                                               
he managed to  have such, it [would've been marked]  such that he                                                               
wouldn't have been able to  purchase liquor.  Ms. Moore concluded                                                               
by asked the committee to support HB 190.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  SCHUTTE,  Anchorage  Downtown  Partnership,  informed  the                                                               
committee   that  the   aforementioned  organization   represents                                                               
downtown businesses, property owners,  and residents in the area.                                                               
Mr. Schutte said  that one of the largest  issues facing downtown                                                               
businesses  and  residents is  the  issue  of public  inebriants.                                                               
Many of  the members of  the Anchorage Downtown  Partnership view                                                               
HB 190 as  a valuable tool to help these  inebriants and get them                                                               
off  the streets.   Those  chronic inebriants  frequent the  same                                                               
establishments and  are served until  they are  incapacitated and                                                               
then  they  return  to  the  streets.    The  Anchorage  Downtown                                                               
Partnership, he  related, hopes that  HB 190 would help  curb the                                                               
aforementioned.    In response  to  Chair  Anderson, Mr.  Schutte                                                               
confirmed  that  there  would  be a  letter  from  the  Anchorage                                                               
Downtown Partnership.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUGLAS B.  GRIFFIN, Director,  Alcoholic Beverage  Control Board                                                               
(ABC), Department of  Public Safety, said he  didn't believe that                                                               
HB 190  is compatible with  existing provisions  allowing alcohol                                                               
to be shipped  by written order.  Those who  ship alcohol to damp                                                               
communities have to  have licenses on file,  although no face-to-                                                               
face inspection occurs.  The  aforementioned can be addressed, he                                                               
said.  Mr. Griffin informed  the committee that currently the ABC                                                               
Board maintains  a list of  those package  stores who want  to do                                                               
business via written  order because these stores need  to be kept                                                               
well informed  regarding changes  to the local  option list.   He                                                               
noted that the ABC Board  also provides liquor stores listings of                                                               
individuals who  are convicted bootleggers.   Therefore, there is                                                               
already a mechanism by which  those who purchase by written order                                                               
are  screened and  thus  the legislation  would  need to  address                                                               
that.   Mr. Griffin  opined that there  will be  some operational                                                               
issues  with regard  to requesting  identification  each time  an                                                               
alcoholic beverage is  sold, but he viewed  the aforementioned as                                                               
the legislature's policy call.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:12:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG  inquired  as to  the  ramifications  if                                                               
there was a breech of [AS  04.16.160 and AS 04.16.167] in Section                                                               
1 of  the legislation.   He  inquired as  to the  sanctions under                                                               
Title 4.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRIFFIN answered that he assumed  that it would be similar to                                                               
the current violations imposed on  wait staff who [sell alcoholic                                                               
beverages]   without   properly    checking   identification   or                                                               
recognizing  the identifying  mark  on the  identification.   The                                                               
aforementioned  could  result  in   a  misdemeanor  and  criminal                                                               
prosecution.  Furthermore, there  could also be ramifications for                                                               
the licensee as well.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROKEBERG asked  whether  the  licensee's Title  4                                                               
license would ultimately be held in jeopardy.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFIN  confirmed   that  it  could  lead  to   that.    He                                                               
characterized it as a progressive  thing in most cases.  Usually,                                                               
it's  a situation  in which  the  licensee knows  that there's  a                                                               
problem  and has  been notified  of  such, but  hasn't taken  any                                                               
corrective actions.   The [situation],  he said,  certainly could                                                               
lead to the revocation of the license.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG  asked if  Mr. Griffin  was aware  of any                                                               
private causes of  action against a licensee for  breech of Title                                                               
4 provisions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRIFFIN said  that he  wasn't aware  of any  such causes  of                                                               
action.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD  specified that  it wasn't  his intention                                                               
to broaden the  law further than what it is  already when someone                                                               
sells  to an  underage  individual.   Furthermore,  the law  only                                                               
applies to those individuals under court order.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ANDERSON announced that HB 190 would be held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

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