Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

05/07/2006 01:00 PM FINANCE

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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Moved HB 485 am Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
2:28:01 PM                                                                                                                    
     SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 190(JUD)                                                                               
     "An Act relating to the  purchase of alcoholic beverages and                                                               
     to access to licensed  premises; relating to civil liability                                                               
     for certain  persons accessing licensed  premises; 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  and relating  to fees  for the  marked license;  and                                                               
     requiring  the   surrender  and  cancellation   of  driver's                                                               
     licenses under certain circumstances."                                                                                     
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
PAUL LABOLLE,  Staff to Representative Richard  Foster, testified                                                               
that  this bill  would  attempt to  reduce  incidents of  Driving                                                               
Under the  Influence (DUI). Although Alaska  currently has strict                                                               
DUI  statutes,   approximately  30   percent  of   motor  vehicle                                                               
fatalities  involve  a  DUI.  This   bill  would  prohibit  those                                                               
convicted  of  a  DUI  from   consuming  alcohol  as  a  term  of                                                               
sentencing  and probation.  The term  Restriction on  Consumption                                                               
(ROC) would appear on their  drivers' license. The bill would not                                                               
require an  alcohol vendor to  card every customer, but  the bill                                                               
includes a  provision allowing  for a $1000  civil penalty  to be                                                               
levied by  a vendor that found  an individual to be  in violation                                                               
of the restriction while attempting to purchase alcohol.                                                                        
2:30:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde  explained  the  civil  penalty  provision  as  it                                                               
related to  selling alcohol to  a minor.  In that case,  a vendor                                                               
who determines  an individual attempting  to purchase  alcohol is                                                               
not  of age  may  assess a  $1000 trespass  fee.  The method  had                                                               
worked well to discourage attempts  by minors to purchase alcohol                                                               
in Anchorage.                                                                                                                   
2:31:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Green asked  if the  display of  "ROC" on  the drivers'                                                               
license is currently allowed.                                                                                                   
Mr. Labolle replied that this bill would allow for the display.                                                                 
2:31:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bunde  was willing to  support the bill,  but anticipated                                                               
that  older  DUI  offenders  were  unlikely  to  be  carded  when                                                               
purchasing alcohol. He supposed the  threat of a $1000 fine could                                                               
provide enough of a deterrent  effect to discourage DUI offenders                                                               
from attempting to procure alcohol.                                                                                             
2:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green asked if Members  supported the ROC designation on                                                               
an offender's drivers' license.                                                                                                 
2:32:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Dyson  commented  on   the  "significant"  and  possibly                                                               
"radical" measures  contained in  the bill. He  expressed concern                                                               
regarding  the  indeterminate  fiscal  note,  and  asked  if  the                                                               
anticipated  cost to  the Division  of Motor  Vehicles (DMV)  was                                                               
2:33:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.   Labolle  responded   that  the   DMV  had   testified  that                                                               
implementation  of  this program  is  within  its capability  and                                                               
"easy  to  do".  The  fiscal  note assigns  all  costs  and  fess                                                               
associated with  the printing of  the ROC designation to  the DUI                                                               
2:34:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator   Dyson   continued,   asking   if  it   would   be   the                                                               
responsibility of the  DUI offender to go to the  DMV and request                                                               
that the ROC designation be printed on their license.                                                                           
2:34:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Labolle affirmed.                                                                                                           
2:34:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   Green  asked   if   the   courts  currently   restrict                                                               
Mr. Labolle replied positively.                                                                                                 
2:35:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Dyson  recalled  previous technical  complications  with                                                               
relaying information  between the courts  and the DMV,  and asked                                                               
if their computer systems were now compatible.                                                                                  
2:35:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Labolle deferred to the Alaska  Court System or the DMV for a                                                               
2:36:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilken  referenced a  letter from  the president  of the                                                               
Cabaret,  Hotel,  Restaurant  and Retailers  Association  (CHARR)                                                               
[copy not provided] that claimed  the bill "will require bars and                                                               
liquor  stores to  purchase  expensive  electronic equipment  and                                                               
hire  personnel to  operate that  equipment." He  asked regarding                                                               
this "equipment".                                                                                                               
Mr. Labolle understood the letter was out of date.                                                                              
2:37:04 PM                                                                                                                    
HEATHER BRADY, Staff to  Representative Harry Crawford, testified                                                               
that  CHARR  had misunderstood  the  provisions.  While the  bill                                                               
requires the  DMV to make  the ROC restriction a  "scanable" item                                                               
when  possible, it  would also  require a  visual display  of the                                                               
restriction on the  license, so no additional  equipment would be                                                               
2:37:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilken spoke  to a  memorandum  from legislative  legal                                                               
council dated  May 3, 2006  [copy not provided]  that questioned,                                                               
and  possibly  challenged,  the   bill  itself.  He  requested  a                                                               
response to that letter.                                                                                                        
2:38:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Labolle   advised  that  the   concerns  addressed   in  the                                                               
memorandum related  to a  drafting disagreement  between Division                                                               
of  Legal and  Research Services  and the  Department of  Law. He                                                               
deferred to Doug Wooliver.                                                                                                      
2:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG WOOLIVER, Administrative Attorney,  Alaska Court System, had                                                               
not seen the memorandum in  question. He understood the drafter's                                                               
concern  to "capture  municipal ordinances".  Nearly half  of all                                                               
misdemeanor DUIs are charged under  Anchorage municipal code, not                                                               
under State statutes.                                                                                                           
2:40:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Green suggested the memorandum  asked how the Department                                                               
of Administration  would garner all information  on previous DUIs                                                               
from other  states, and how  the Department would  identify those                                                               
on probation and implement the provisions.                                                                                      
2:40:36 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver  was not  aware  of  how  the  DMV learns  of  DUIs                                                               
committed in other states.                                                                                                      
2:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver  responded  to an  earlier  question  regarding  an                                                               
electronic  connection  to  relay judgments  between  the  Alaska                                                               
Court System and  the DMV. He informed that the  two agencies did                                                               
not  currently  have  such  a  system,  but  were  working  on  a                                                               
multiple-agency connection so the  courts could share information                                                               
with other affected departments more readily.                                                                                   
2:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Dyson  summarized  the current  method  of  transferring                                                               
information in  which one agency  must print out  the information                                                               
and the receiving  agency then must reenter  the information into                                                               
a separate system. This information  is of high importance to the                                                               
DMV as well  as police officers, who may need  to know as quickly                                                               
as possible if a warrant has been  issued for a person, if a home                                                               
has  a   foster  child,  or   other  important  factors   in  law                                                               
enforcement.  He asked  if a  computerized  system to  facilitate                                                               
information sharing was "months or years away".                                                                                 
2:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.   Wooliver  estimated   the   State  was   years  away   from                                                               
implementing   the  ideal   system,   although   each  year   saw                                                               
improvements. It  is a very  costly project, and  all departments                                                               
involved must  receive upgrades.  For example, while  the Court's                                                               
computer system  has been improved,  the receiver must  also have                                                               
upgrades to take delivery of this information.                                                                                  
2:44:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dyson asked if completion  of the upgrades was two, five,                                                               
or ten years away.                                                                                                              
2:44:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver  projected conclusion  within  a  five year  range.                                                               
However, other needs and priorities,  such as bail conditions and                                                               
collections  issues,   would  continue   to  be   identified  and                                                               
2:44:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde clarified  the  process by  which  a person  would                                                               
obtain   an  ROC   designated   drivers'   license.  If,   during                                                               
sentencing,  a  restriction  on  consumption  was  placed  on  an                                                               
individual,  that person  must surrender  their license  in court                                                               
upon sentencing. That  person must then go to the  DMV within two                                                               
days and  apply for  a new, restricted  license. The  process was                                                               
not as "voluntary" as it may have been portrayed.                                                                               
Senator Bunde  asked about the  provisions inserted by  the House                                                               
Judiciary Committee  that had  caused concern  to members  of the                                                               
Division of Legal and Research Services.                                                                                        
2:45:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.   Labolle  located   the  language   in  subsection   (a)  of                                                               
Sec.04.16.160. Privilege to  purchase alcoholic beverages., added                                                               
by Section 2  on page 2, lines  9 and 10, and  in AS 28.15.191(g)                                                               
added  by Section  7 on  page  4, lines  5 through  7. A  sponsor                                                               
amendment was  offered during a  hearing in the  Senate Judiciary                                                               
Committee, and  the adopted amendment  was an attempt  to broaden                                                               
the language to include as many violations as possible.                                                                         
2:47:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bunde  asked the sponsor's opinion  regarding the ability                                                               
to enforce the sections described in the memorandum.                                                                            
Mr. Labolle had not received the memorandum.                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde was  inclined to  support the  bill, and  asked if                                                               
deleting the provisions in question  would remove the requirement                                                               
for a concurrence vote.                                                                                                         
Mr.  Labolle assumed  the deletion  would remove  the requirement                                                               
for concurrence,  but would exclude  approximately 50  percent of                                                               
DUI  convictions, those  charged under  the Anchorage  ordinance,                                                               
which are included under the current language.                                                                                  
2:48:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde  suggested  removing   only  the  portion  of  the                                                               
provision that referred to out-of-state  convictions, as it would                                                               
be easier to facilitate communications  between the State DMV and                                                               
the Municipality of Anchorage than between states.                                                                              
2:48:27 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Labolle  would not  oppose the language,  and had  prepared a                                                               
draft of the amendment.                                                                                                         
2:49:05 PM                                                                                                                    
DUANNE BANNOCK, Director, Division  of Motor Vehicles, Department                                                               
of Administration,  testified via teleconference  from Anchorage,                                                               
that   the  Division   struggles   with   both  "practical"   and                                                               
"philosophical"  issues. He  explained  that he  could not  avoid                                                               
preparing an  indeterminate fiscal note,  as he did not  know the                                                               
number  of  drivers  who  would   be  affected  by  the  proposed                                                               
Mr.  Bannock  was  also  concerned that  the  definition  of  the                                                               
"restriction  on consumption"  was  not clear  in  the bill,  and                                                               
enforcement could  be an issue.  He asked if the  ROC designation                                                               
would   prohibit  a   person  from   both  entering   a  licensed                                                               
establishment  and  purchasing  alcohol, or  if  the  restriction                                                               
would be solely on the consumption of alcohol.                                                                                  
2:53:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Bannock  directed  attention  to Sections  4  and  6,  which                                                               
instruct   the   DMV   to  cancel   the   drivers'   license   or                                                               
identification card of  a person charged with a  DUI offense upon                                                               
notification from the court. He  stated that the bill was unclear                                                               
as to whether the license was  to be surrendered to the arresting                                                               
officer,  the court,  or simply  cancelled in  the DMV  database.                                                               
After the  required cancellation,  the bill  did not  specify the                                                               
terms  of  the  cancellation,  or if  that  affected  a  person's                                                               
driving privilege. The bill also  failed to address other aspects                                                               
of licensing,  and he exampled  a case  of a person  who retained                                                               
their original "canceled"  license, and asked if it  would be the                                                               
responsibility of the DMV to monitor  the length of the ROC, then                                                               
"uncancel" a license  upon expiration of that  period. This would                                                               
be a burdensome requirement of the Division.                                                                                    
2:55:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Bannock was  "worried" that  the DMV  would not  be able  to                                                               
satisfy the  intent of the  bill, which  he understood to  be the                                                               
reduction  of "death  and  injury caused  by  drunk drivers."  He                                                               
opined that  the proposed legislation would  not stop lawbreakers                                                               
from obtaining  and consuming  alcohol. It  would only  provide a                                                               
visual  notice of  the court  order. Most  adults are  not carded                                                               
when  purchasing alcohol.  He therefore  had no  expectation that                                                               
the  proposed legislation  would accomplish  the bill's  intended                                                               
2:56:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bunde  asked if it  was a crime  to drive with  a revoked                                                               
2:57:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Bannock clarified that the  language speaks to "cancellation"                                                               
of  a  license,  not  revocation.  His  concern  in  that  regard                                                               
involved a  situation in which  a person's license  was cancelled                                                               
and  they never  went to  the DMV  to get  their restricted  ROC-                                                               
imprinted license.  If the period  of revocation had  expired but                                                               
that individual had not gone in to  the DMV to get a new license,                                                               
was that person driving with  a cancelled license in violation of                                                               
the law?                                                                                                                        
Mr. Bannock continued  that in every other scenario  in which the                                                               
DMV becomes involved, there is an  action the driver must take at                                                               
the DMV  that triggers reinstatement  of driving  privileges. For                                                               
example,  if a  person is  involved in  an accident  that impacts                                                               
their  legal ability  to drive,  they must  present the  DMV with                                                               
proof  of insurance,  restitution or  other documentation  before                                                               
their driving privileges are reinstated.  This bill does not have                                                               
a requirement for such action, so  the burden would be on the DMV                                                               
to monitor restrictions and their expirations.                                                                                  
2:59:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson  realized the complexity  related to this  bill and                                                               
the burden to  the Division. He asked if  Mr. Bannock anticipated                                                               
a reduction in DUI offenses if this bill became law.                                                                            
2:59:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Bannock  responded that he  "regretfully" did not  expect the                                                               
proposed legislation  would reduce  DUIs. Discussions  within the                                                               
Department did  not identify any  strong correlation  between the                                                               
restrictions in the legislation and a reduction of DUIs.                                                                        
3:00:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson did not agree.                                                                                                    
3:00:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde  asked if  the  restriction  on consumption  would                                                               
appear only on the physical drivers'  license or if it would also                                                               
be in the database used by police officers during routine stops.                                                                
3:01:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Bannock replied that he  assumed the restriction would appear                                                               
in  both locations.  This would  be  an important  factor in  the                                                               
legislation,  as   he  anticipated  many  people   would  not  be                                                               
compliant  with   this  law.  Therefore,  only   law  enforcement                                                               
personnel would have access to  the computerized information, and                                                               
any purveyor of alcohol would have  to rely on the printed ROC on                                                               
the identification.                                                                                                             
3:01:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bunde remarked  that the  bill in  its current  form has                                                               
potential positive  effects. If a  person with an  ROC designated                                                               
license  happened  to be  carded  when  purchasing alcohol,  they                                                               
would be subject  to a $1000 fine. Additionally, if  a person who                                                               
failed  to go  to the  DMV and  apply for  their ROC  license was                                                               
stopped  while  driving, they  would  be  subject to  arrest  for                                                               
driving without a valid license.                                                                                                
Mr. Bannock  agreed, a  driver could be  arrested for  failing to                                                               
obtain an ROC license, even if the restriction period had ended.                                                                
3:02:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilken  aligned  himself with  Mr.  Bannock's  concerns                                                               
about  the  bill.  He  continued   that  the  legislation  needed                                                               
refining and  further efforts to  ensure it would  accomplish its                                                               
goals before it became law. He  would not support the bill in its                                                               
current form,  but encouraged  continued efforts  on the  part of                                                               
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
3:03:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dyson  identified with Co-Chair  Wilken comments.  He was                                                               
uncomfortable  with the  access issues  the proposed  legislation                                                               
raised. He identified  the goal of the  legislation as preventing                                                               
a  person  who  was  restricted   from  drinking  from  consuming                                                               
alcohol, not necessarily restricting  them from the premise where                                                               
alcohol  is served.  He contended  the bill  did not  address his                                                               
3:05:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Bunde  wanted to  support this  bill, but  understood the                                                               
will of the Committee                                                                                                           
The bill was HELD in Committee.                                                                                                 

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