Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/18/1995 10:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HSTA - 03/18/95 HB 10 - PAYMENT OF COSTS OF DWI ACCIDENTS Number 325 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES, sponsor of HB 10, read his sponsor statement: "HB 10 is an act that requires DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) offenders convicted of causing a motor vehicle accident to pay for the costs of emergency services that respond to the accident. "The problems and associated costs of driving while intoxicated are clear. According to national statistics, 43 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involve alcohol. According to the Department of Public Safety, 40 percent of all DWI arrests involve repeat offenders. Furthermore, alcohol related accidents nationwide result in an economic loss of $46.1 billion per year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1990. "House Bill 10 attempts to address these problems in two ways. First, as a deterrent to those who drive while intoxicated by raising the financial penalty for doing so. By raising the financial burden to those breaking the law, HB 10 emphasizes the seriousness of the crime. Second, this bill shifts the financial responsibility of the emergency services that respond to alcohol-related accidents from law abiding, tax paying citizens to the convicted DWI offender. "Three states, California, Indiana, and Kansas, have similar reimbursement laws." Number 348 DAVID TYLER said he and the Alaska State Fire Chiefs Association strongly support the bill. HB 10 can help them achieve their goals of reducing the loss of life in Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES pointed out the CS, work draft 9-LS0060/F, which changes page 1, line 7, by adding "if the convicted person or the convicted person's insurer has not already paid the cost..." to deal with the insurance issue. He also would like to insert the word "reasonable" in front of "cost" on line 6. He added he had gotten approval from those in favor of the bill to make these changes. Number 388 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved the amendment on line 6. There were no objections. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved to adopt the CS version F, as amended, as the working document. There were no objections. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES pointed out letters of support in the packet from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the Alaska Municipal League. CHAIR JAMES thanked Representative Davies for submitting the bill, saying she thought it was a good bill. Number 404 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN inquired about the definition of "emergency medical technician," whether this would include community health aides in rural communities. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he was not sure. MARK JOHNSON, Chief of the Emergency Services Section, Department of Health and Social Services, said community health aides in Alaska are all trained initially as emergency trauma technicians, and a large number of them have attained emergency medical technician certification. If the bill only refers to "emergency medical technician" it would not include every community health aide. He suggested that adding "emergency trauma technician" would include every health aide in Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he would be interested in including "emergency trauma technician" in the bill language. CHAIR JAMES remarked on the difficulty of meeting concerns of both urban and rural areas in Alaska, stating legislation should be in the best interest of the state as a whole. Number 428 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he would offer the addition of "health aide" in the definition at the next committee. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he would like to include all those "qualified, with a certificated license." REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON made a motion to move CSHB 10 (STA) with individual recommendations, and attached zero fiscal note. There were no objections.