Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 106

01/31/2006 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 186 EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 160 PUBLIC FUNDS & BALLOT PROPS/CANDIDATES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 347 MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE & NOTICE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HB 347-MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE & NOTICE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:53:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced that the  last order of business was HOUSE                                                               
BILL  NO.  347,  "An  Act relating  to  mandatory  motor  vehicle                                                               
insurance,  license suspensions,  and notices  relating to  motor                                                               
vehicles and driver's licenses."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:54:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA, Alaska  State Legislature, introduced HB                                                               
347, as sponsor.   He said it  would close a loophole  in the law                                                               
that has  caused a number  of drivers  to be charged  for driving                                                               
without auto  insurance when,  in fact, they  had insurance.   He                                                               
explained that  the driver charged,  even after showing  proof of                                                               
insurance,  must  submit  paperwork  to  the  Division  of  Motor                                                               
Vehicles (DMV).   In at least  one case, the DMV  did not receive                                                               
the  paperwork  and sent  the  request  for  it to  a  noncurrent                                                               
address.   Under current law,  a driver can lose  his/her license                                                               
for driving without  insurance and can be  criminally charged for                                                               
driving  when his/her  license is  subsequently  suspended.   The                                                               
proposed bill  would allow a  person who really had  insurance at                                                               
the time his/her  license was suspended for not having  it to use                                                               
that fact  as a  defense to a  driving without  insurance charge.                                                               
Furthermore, the  bill would give  the DMV the authority  to send                                                               
the  notices that  keep  getting lost  in the  mail  to the  most                                                               
current address, rather than the one on the driver's license.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:56:41 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt Amendment [1, labeled 24-LS1372\G.2,                                                                
Luckhaupt, 1/27/06], which read as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "suspensions,":                                                                                
          Insert "penalties for operating a motor vehicle                                                                     
     while  license  is  canceled,  suspended,  revoked,  or                                                                  
     limited,  mandatory impoundments  of  vehicles used  in                                                                  
     certain offenses,"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 6:                                                                                                  
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
        "* Sec. 2. AS 28.15.291(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (b)  Upon conviction under (a) of this section,                                                                       
     the court                                                                                                                  
               (1)  shall impose a minimum sentence of                                                                          
     imprisonment                                                                                                               
               (A)  if the person has not been previously                                                                       
     convicted,  of  not less  than  10  days with  10  days                                                                    
     suspended,   including   a   mandatory   condition   of                                                                    
     probation that the defendant complete  not less than 80                                                                    
     hours of community work service;                                                                                           
               (B)  if the person has been previously                                                                           
     convicted, of not less than 10 days;                                                                                       
               (C)  if the person's driver's license,                                                                           
     privilege to  drive, or privilege  to obtain  a license                                                                    
     was   revoked   under    circumstances   described   in                                                                    
     AS 28.15.181(c)(1),  or if  the person  was driving  in                                                                    
     violation   of   a   limited   license   issued   under                                                                    
     AS 28.15.201(d) following that  revocation, of not less                                                                    
     than 20 days with 10 days  suspended, and a fine of not                                                                    
     less  than $500,  including  a  mandatory condition  of                                                                    
     probation that the defendant complete  not less than 80                                                                    
     hours of community work service;                                                                                           
               (D)  if the person's driver's license,                                                                           
     privilege to  drive, or privilege  to obtain  a license                                                                    
     was   revoked   under    circumstances   described   in                                                                    
     AS 28.15.181(c)(2), (3),  or (4)  or if the  person was                                                                    
     driving in violation of a  limited license issued under                                                                    
     AS 28.15.201(d) following that  revocation, of not less                                                                    
     than 30 days and a fine of not less than $1,000;                                                                           
               (2)  may impose additional conditions of                                                                         
     probation;                                                                                                                 
               (3)  may not                                                                                                     
               (A)  suspend execution of sentence or grant                                                                      
     probation except  on condition that the  person serve a                                                                    
     minimum  term  of  imprisonment  and  perform  required                                                                    
     community  work  service as  provided  in  (1) of  this                                                                    
     subsection;                                                                                                                
              (B)  suspend imposition of sentence;                                                                              
               (4)  shall revoke the person's license,                                                                          
     privilege to  drive, or privilege to  obtain a license,                                                                    
     and the  person may not  be issued  a new license  or a                                                                    
     limited  license  nor may  the  privilege  to drive  or                                                                    
     obtain a  license be restored for  an additional period                                                                    
     of  not less  than  90  days after  the  date that  the                                                                    
     person  would  have  been entitled  to  restoration  of                                                                    
     driving privileges; and                                                                                                    
               (5)  may order that the motor vehicle that                                                                       
     was  used in  commission  of the  offense be  forfeited                                                                    
     under  AS 28.35.036  and  shall order  that  the  motor                                                                
     vehicle  used  in  the commission  of  the  offense  be                                                                
     forfeited  under AS 28.35.036  if the  person has  been                                                                
     previously convicted under this section."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 9:                                                                                                  
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
        "* Sec. 5. AS 28.35.036(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (b)  Before forfeiture of a motor vehicle,                                                                            
     aircraft,  or watercraft,  the court  shall schedule  a                                                                    
     hearing on  the matter and  shall notify the  state and                                                                    
     the convicted person of the  time and place set for the                                                                    
     hearing.  Except  for  a motor  vehicle,  aircraft,  or                                                                    
     watercraft  that  is  required to  be  forfeited  under                                                                    
     AS 28.15.291,  AS 28.35.030,  or 28.35.032,  the  court                                                            
     may order  the forfeiture of  the motor vehicle  if the                                                                    
     court,  sitting  without  a   jury,  determines,  by  a                                                                    
     preponderance of  the evidence, that the  forfeiture of                                                                    
     the motor  vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft  will serve                                                                    
     one or more of the following purposes:                                                                                     
               (1)  deterrence of the convicted person from                                                                     
     the    commission    of     future    offenses    under                                                                    
     [AS 28.15.291(b),] AS 28.35.030 [,] or 28.35.032;                                                                          
               (2)  protection of the safety and welfare of                                                                     
     the public;                                                                                                                
               (3)  deterrence of other persons who are                                                                         
     potential     offenders    under     [AS 28.15.291(b),]                                                                    
     AS 28.35.030 [,] or 28.35.032; or                                                                                          
               (4)  expression of public condemnation of                                                                        
     the  serious  or  aggravated nature  of  the  convicted                                                                    
     person's conduct.                                                                                                          
        *  Sec.  6. AS 28.40  is  amended  by adding  a  new                                                                  
     section to read:                                                                                                           
          Sec. 28.40.080. Impoundment of motor vehicle when                                                                   
     arrested  for  certain offenses.  On  the  arrest of  a                                                                  
     person for  a violation of  AS 28.15.291, AS 28.33.030,                                                                    
     28.33.031,  AS 28.35.030,   or  28.35.032,   the  motor                                                                    
     vehicle used in the commission  of the offense shall be                                                                    
     impounded. If  the motor vehicle is  not forfeited, the                                                                    
     motor vehicle shall be held  for six months, unless the                                                                    
     person is acquitted of the  offense. The cost of towing                                                                    
     and storage  of the vehicle  is a lien on  the vehicle.                                                                    
     If  another  person  claims an  ownership  or  security                                                                    
     interest in the motor  vehicle and establishes that the                                                                    
     interest predated  the offense and was  acquired by the                                                                    
     other  person  in  good  faith,   the  vehicle  may  be                                                                    
     released to  that other person  if the person  pays the                                                                    
     accrued cost of towing and storage of the vehicle."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  explained that [Amendment 1]  addresses the license                                                               
suspension portion  of the bill  by increasing the  penalties for                                                               
driving  with  a  suspended  or  revoked  license  and  requiring                                                               
mandatory impoundment  of a  vehicle if  the driver  operating it                                                               
has  a suspended  or revoked  license.   Upon second  offense, he                                                               
added,  [Amendment 1]  would require  forfeiture of  the vehicle.                                                               
He stated his intention is to "just get this on the table."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:58:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected to [Amendment 1].                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:58:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:58:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DUANE BANNOCK,  Director, Division of Motor  Vehicles, Department                                                               
of  Administration, thanked  Representative Gara  for taking  the                                                               
time to  hear the concerns  of the division.   He said  there are                                                               
instances when  the division knows  the person has a  new address                                                               
but is  required to send the  information [to the address  on the                                                               
person's driver's license].   He stated that [HB  347] would help                                                               
the  division  get  the pertinent  information  directly  to  the                                                               
person.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:00:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked  Mr. Bannock if he is satisfied  with the bill                                                               
as introduced.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:00:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK said he is not  familiar with [Amendment 1].  He said                                                               
he spoke yesterday  with the sponsor about  some technical issues                                                               
in [the  original bill],  and he  said he  doesn't know  if those                                                               
issues have been addressed.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  said they have  not been  addressed.  He  asked Mr.                                                               
Bannock if  he is  comfortable with the  intent and  structure of                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK answered in the affirmative.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:00:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  said  he  would like  Mr.  Bannock  to                                                               
remain  available to  answer the  committee's  questions, and  he                                                               
asked  that   Mr.  Bannock  and  Representative   Gara  give  any                                                               
technical amendments to the committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:01:13 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TRICIA MOEN, testifying on behalf  of herself, told the committee                                                               
that she was  pulled over by an Alaska State  Trooper last summer                                                               
for speeding.   She  gave the  officer her  license and  proof of                                                               
insurance and  was informed  that her  license had  formerly been                                                               
suspended because  she didn't  have a  special kind  of insurance                                                               
required  of  "high-risk" drivers.    The  trooper handed  her  a                                                               
summons to appear  in court on criminal charges.   Her companions                                                               
were instructed  to drive, because her  license, technically, was                                                               
suspended.    Ms.  Mullen  explained  that she  had  been  in  an                                                               
accident nine months prior to this  event, at which time she gave                                                               
the  officer her  [proof of]  insurance and  was given  a "yellow                                                               
piece of paper to fill out."   She said she sent the paperwork in                                                               
to the  [DMV] by facsimile,  didn't get a response,  and "figured                                                               
everything was good and ... was  over with."  She added, "I guess                                                               
it  wasn't.   They suspended  my license."   Ms.  Mullen reported                                                               
that  the issue  was resolved  without  her having  to appear  in                                                               
court, and  her license has been  restored to her.   However, she                                                               
said, "It was a pain, to say the least."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:03:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON,  after ascertaining that  there was no one  else to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:03:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA,  in  response  to  a  question  from  Chair                                                               
Seaton, said Mr.  Bannock had voiced concerns about  the issue of                                                               
the most  current address, which  is the reason for  the language                                                               
[on page  2, beginning on line  2 through line 9],  which read as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        The department shall provide this notice to the                                                                     
     address that appears to be the most current from among                                                                 
     the following:                                                                                                         
           (1) the address the department has for the                                                                       
     person;                                                                                                                
            (2) the address shown on the citation or                                                                        
     police report of the accident; and                                                                                     
           (3) the address provided to the Department                                                                       
       of Revenue in an application for a permanent fund                                                                    
     dividend.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA surmised that the  address given at the scene                                                               
of the accident  is probably the most current.   He said he would                                                               
leave it  up to the  committee whether  to leave in  the language                                                               
regarding the permanent fund dividend source.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:05:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked  Mr. Bannock to forward  his recommendation in                                                               
writing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:06:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Gatto,  said he  finds  the  use of  the  phrase  "appear to  be"                                                               
troubling,  as  it  relates  to   determining  the  most  current                                                               
address.  He said, arguably, the  police report would be the most                                                               
accurate, current, and best available  address source, because it                                                               
would have  been done at  the scene of  the accident.   He stated                                                               
his belief that the ability to use that document is key.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:08:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BANNOCK, in  response  to Chair  Seaton,  specified that  he                                                               
would like the word "citation" to  be removed.  He explained that                                                               
when DMV gets a traffic ticket,  for example, it does not receive                                                               
any of  the address data  pertaining to the citation,  whereas it                                                               
definitely receives  address information on Alaska  motor vehicle                                                               
collision reports.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:08:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  pinpointed that Mr. Bannock  is proposing something                                                               
like, "the  address shown on  the Alaska motor  vehicle collision                                                               
report" and, if  that address is unavailable, to  use the address                                                               
"that the department has for the person."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK responded,  "That's very, very, very  close sir, yes,                                                               
sir, thank you."   In response to Chair Seaton,  he said he would                                                               
send  any technical  suggestions  for such  an  amendment to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:09:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  directed attention to Section  1 of the                                                               
bill, which read as follows:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     *Section 1.  AS 28.05.071  is amended  by adding  a new                                                                  
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
               (b) A person convicted of a violation of (a)                                                                     
     of this section is guilty of an infraction.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG   noted  that  AS  28.05.071   read  as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 28.05.071.  Change of name or address.                                                                                
     A  person  who  has  applied   for  or  been  issued  a                                                                    
     certificate, registration,  title, license,  permit, or                                                                    
     other  form  under  this title,  and  who  changes  the                                                                    
     person's name  or moves from  the address shown  on the                                                                    
     records or  forms of  the Department  of Administration                                                                    
     or the  Department of Public  Safety, shall  notify the                                                                    
     appropriate  department in  writing  of  the change  in                                                                    
     name or address within 30 days.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stated that  since there is currently no                                                               
penalty set  forth in AS 28.05.071,  "you go back to  the general                                                               
provisions in  Title 28, which  are found  in AS 28.40.050."   He                                                               
noted that AS 28.40.050(a) read:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (a) It is a misdemeanor for a person to violate a                                                                     
     provision  of this  title unless  the  violation is  by                                                                    
     this title or  other law declared to be a  felony or an                                                                    
     infraction.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  [Section  1]  lowers the  penalty                                                               
from  a  misdemeanor  to  an  infraction.    Regarding  what  the                                                               
punishment for an infraction would  be, he said that doesn't seem                                                               
to be written.   He directed attention to  AS 28.40.050(c), which                                                               
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          (c) Unless otherwise specified by law a person                                                                        
     convicted of a violation  of a regulation adopted under                                                                    
     this  title,   or  a  municipal   ordinance  regulating                                                                    
     vehicles or  traffic when the municipal  ordinance does                                                                    
     not correspond to a provision  of this title, is guilty                                                                    
     of an  infraction and  is punishable by  a fine  not to                                                                    
     exceed $300.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked,  "Do we need to  say something in                                                               
Title  28 as  to  what  the punishment  for  this particular  new                                                               
infraction's  going to  be, or  do you  go back  to Title  12 for                                                               
that?"                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:11:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said  unless   Mr.  Bannock  has  a  better                                                               
suggestion  he  concurs  with Representative  Gruenberg,  and  he                                                               
suggested  that the  language "with  a fine  not to  exceed $300"                                                               
should be added to [Section 1, page 1, line 6].                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:12:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON suggested that language  be offered at the next bill                                                               
hearing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON, regarding  [Amendment 1],  told committee  members                                                               
they should be  aware that Sections 2-5 of  the amendment address                                                               
the forfeiture  of a vehicle  "on second offense," and  Section 6                                                               
deals with impoundment.   He also pointed out  that the citations                                                               
in Section 6  relate to statutes on driving  under the influence.                                                               
He said if the committee wishes  to have the impoundment apply to                                                               
both  the  suspension   of  a  license  and   driving  under  the                                                               
influence, then "we can leave those references in."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:13:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said a  lot of  people in  his district                                                               
have  problems  with  getting cars  impounded  "from  very  small                                                               
infractions."  He indicated this is hard when a person is poor.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[HB  347  was  heard  and  held.    Amendment  1,  later  labeled                                                               
Amendment  7   at  the  2/14/06  House   State  Affairs  Standing                                                               
Committee meeting, was left pending.]                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects