Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/19/1994 08:30 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
  CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 28(JUD) am                                             
                                                                               
       An Act relating to the  penalty for providing alcoholic                 
       beverages  to  a  person  under  the  age  of  21;  and                 
       providing for an effective date.                                        
                                                                               
  Co-chair Pearce directed  that CSHB 28(Jud)am be  brought on                 
  for  discussion and referenced accompanying fiscal notes and                 
  other file materials.                                                        
                                                                               
  PETER ECKLUND, aide to Representative Williams,  came before                 
  committee.  He then read the sponsor statement  (appended to                 
  these  minutes as Attachment  A) accompanying the  bill.  He                 
  noted that the bill was introduced in response to the tragic                 
  alcohol-related  deaths  of two  youths  in Ketchikan.   The                 
  purpose of the legislation is to strengthen  the penalty for                 
  providing alcoholic  beverages to a person under  the age of                 
  21.  Provisions of the bill change the penalty for second or                 
  subsequent violations of  law to a  class "C" felony with  a                 
  maximum penalty of five years in  prison and a $50,000 fine,                 
  if  the offender  has  been convicted  within the  past five                 
  years.  It  also requires  that warning signs  be posted  in                 
  places where alcohol is sold.                                                
                                                                               
  In response to a question from Senator Kerttula, Mr. Ecklund                 
  said  the  bill would  not change  current  law.   It merely                 
  increases the penalty for second or subsequent offenses.                     
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS came before committee.  Senator                 
  Rieger  referenced AS 04.16.051 and noted  that it speaks to                 
  furnishing (rather than selling) alcohol to minors.  He then                 
  voiced  concern that  an individual  providing a  beer  to a                 
  young  adult  might  be guilty  of  a  class C  felony.   He                 
  inquired concerning other felonies within that class, noting                 
  discussion  of an  earlier bill that  listed stalking  as an                 
  unclassified misdemeanor.  Representative  Williams stressed                 
  that class C felony provisions in the bill apply to a second                 
  offense within five  years.  Senator  Rieger voiced need  to                 
  reconcile  the  severity  of  the  crime with  the  proposed                 
  penalty.   Mr.  Ecklund noted  that  the first  offense  for                 
  furnishing  alcohol  to a  minor  is a  class  A misdemeanor                 
  involving up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.                          
                                                                               
  Senator Kerttula raised  concerns regarding private  parties                 
  in private  homes involving a broad spectrum of ages (little                 
  theater groups were used  as an example).  Although  care is                 
  taken to ensure  that those under  age do not imbibe,  there                 
  are nonetheless instances where temporary lack of  vigilance                 
  might  place  the  host   in  jeopardy  for  unintentionally                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  furnishing  alcohol  to  a minor.    Representative Williams                 
  noted  the  difference  between  being  offered alcohol  and                 
  taking it and advised that the proposed bill is not aimed at                 
  the   situation    described   by    Senator   Kerttula.                     
  Representative Williams advised that similar discussion  was                 
  had in both  House Judiciary  and House Finance.   The  bill                 
  passed the House with no votes against it.                                   
  In the  course of  further discussion,  Mr. Ecklund  advised                 
  that the statute makes no  distinction between provision and                 
  sale of alcohol to a minor.                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-chair Pearce called for additional testimony on the bill.                 
  None was forthcoming.                                                        
                                                                               
  Senator Sharp MOVED that CSHB  28(Jud)am pass from committee                 
  with  individual recommendations.   No objection having been                 
  raised, CSHB 28(Jud)am  was REPORTED  OUT of committee  with                 
  the following fiscal notes:                                                  
                                                                               
       Dept. of Corrections               $57.9                                
       Dept. of Revenue                     2.2                                
       Alaska Court System                 18.8                                
       Dept. of Law                           0                                
       Dept. of Public Safety                 0                                
       Dept. of Administration (OPA)          0                                
                               (PDA)          0                                
                                                                               
  Co-chair  Frank  and  Senators  Kelly, Kerttula,  and  Sharp                 
  signed the committee report with a "do pass" recommendation.                 
  Co-chair    Pearce   and    Senator   Rieger    signed   "no                 
  recommendation."                                                             
                                                                               

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