Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/07/1994 01:40 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 SENATOR TAYLOR introduced SB 221 (ARREST OF MINORS FOR CONSUMING              
 ALCOHOL) and immediately turned to the Legislative Teleconference             
 Network in Ketchikan, to hear CHERI DAVIS, representing Alaskans              
 for a Drug Free Youth.                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. DAVIS expressed appreciation for SB 221, and she explained the            
 problems encountered in Ketchikan without the provisions of the               
 proposed legislation, but using local ordinances.  She expressed              
 concern for the safety of the young people in Ketchikan and urged             
 the legislature to pass the bill as soon as possible.                         
                                                                               
 LYNDA ADAMS, Executive Director for Alaskans for a Drug Free Youth,           
 explained, although the City of Ketchikan had an ordinance to help            
 the problem with minors consuming within the city limits, the                 
 problem has still not been addressed outside the city.  She thought           
 the legislation would tighten up the whole island for minors, and             
 she submitted additional support from the State Alcohol and Drug              
 Abuse Advisory Board when it last met in Juneau.                              
                                                                               
 Number 053                                                                    
                                                                               
 LT. CHUCK MALLOT said the Ketchikan Police Department wishes to go            
 on record in support of SB 221, and he described the consumption of           
 alcohol by 20% of school age minors in Ketchikan.  He quoted from             
 case law that forbids the arrest of a minor, who appears under the            
 influence of alcohol.  The City of Ketchikan passed an emergency              
 ordinance to assure the immediate safety of the young people who              
 have been drinking, however; the ordinance only applies within the            
 City of Ketchikan.  MR. MALLOT urged the passage of SB 221 to                 
 extend this protection to the remainder of the First Judicial                 
 District.                                                                     
                                                                               
 There being no others on the teleconference network to testify,               
 SENATOR TAYLOR called on MARGO KNUTH, Asst. Attorney General,                 
 Criminal Division, Department of Law, to testify.                             
                                                                               
 Number 116                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH said the Department of Law very much supports the                   
 legislation, and she reviewed the arrest of minors consuming before           
 the ruling by two judicial officers in the First Judicial District,           
 which prohibits a warrantless arrest for a minor consuming, unless            
 the alcohol is consumed in the presence of the officer.  She said             
 the legislation would return the law in the First Judicial District           
 to protect the young people - instead of walking away from them.              
                                                                               
 Both SENATOR JACKO and SENATOR LITTLE asked why there was a zero              
 fiscal note.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH explained it was happening every where else in the State,           
 except for the First Judicial District, where it was done until the           
 last eight or nine months.  She suggested that no arrest of minors            
 consuming during that period might have saved money.                          
 SENATOR JACKO asked if a fiscal note reflected the cost of the                
 activity.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 158                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH said the fiscal note reflected the costs associated with            
 the legislation, and SENATOR TAYLOR agreed.                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR LITTLE clarified the juvenile arrested for consuming would            
 be turned over to their parents.                                              
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH explained the legislation does not address what happens             
 to the minor after the warrantless arrest.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR didn't think the parents intended, or society would            
 support, an officer finding an obviously intoxicated young person             
 on the street at night, the officer would issue a ticket, and walk            
 away.  He said this was happening in the First Judicial District.             
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH expressed her appreciation to the people of Ketchikan and           
 Alaskans for a Drug Free Youth for their involvement in the alcohol           
 problem, instead of just concentrating on the hard drugs.  SENATOR            
 TAYLOR added his appreciation, also.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO moved to pass SENATE BILL NO. 221 from committee with           
 individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal note.                  
 Without objections, so ordered.                                               

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