Legislature(1997 - 1998)

1997-01-31 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1997-01-31                     House Journal                      Page 0195
HB 98                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 98 by the House Rules Committee by request of                   
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
An Act relating to the issuance, suspension, limitation,                      
revocation, and reinstatement of drivers' licenses, permits, or                
privileges to drive concerning alcohol-related offenses; relating to           
the fees charged for the reinstatement of drivers' licenses, to                
alcohol information courses for drivers, and to youth assessment               
and referral programs for minor drivers.                                       
was read the first time and referred to the Transportation, Health,            
Education & Social Services and Judiciary Committees.                          
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Fiscal note, Dept. of Public Safety, 1/31/97                                   
Fiscal notes (2), Dept. of Health & Social Services, 1/31/97                   
Indeterminate fiscal note, Dept. of Administration, 1/31/97                    
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated January 30, 1997, appears             

1997-01-31                     House Journal                      Page 0196
HB 98                                                                        
Dear Speaker Phillips:                                                         
Alcohol abuse among minors is one of the most serious and disturbing           
problems facing this state.  It is crucial that we discourage young            
Alaskans from making the wrong choices about alcohol.  This bill               
helps achieve that goal by enhancing our current laws regarding                
treatment for underage drinkers .  It is part of my package of                 
legislation based on recommendations of the Governors Conference               
on Youth and Justice.                                                          
This bill ensures that minors whose driver's licenses have been revoked        
for alcohol-related offenses are properly screened and monitored for           
compliance with education and treatment programs before their                  
licenses are reinstated.  It does so by extending toward minors a              
treatment program which has proved successful for adult offenders --           
the alcohol safety action program, or ASAP.                                    
The state oversees the ASAP which screens offenders, determines what           
education or treatment is appropriate for them and then monitors their         
compliance with the recommendations.  If the offender fails to comply,         
further court proceedings are initiated.                                       
My proposal for zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving was           
passed last year and is now in effect in addition to our use it, lose it       
law.  Under the zero tolerance law, a minors drivers license is                
revoked if the minor drives a vehicle after consuming any quantity of          
alcohol.  The use it, lose it law revokes a minors drivers license if          
the minor possesses or consumes unlawful drugs or alcohol, regardless          
of whether the minor was driving a vehicle at the time.  Both laws             
require the minor complete an education or treatment program before            
the license may be reinstated.  However, there is currently no program         
for minors similar to the ASAP.                                                
To fill this gap, this legislation proposes a program for minors that          
would be housed in the Department of Health and Social Services.               
The program would be funded with the fees charged for reinstating any          

1997-01-31                     House Journal                      Page 0197
HB 98                                                                        
drivers license that has been revoked.  This bill increases that fee for       
first-time offenders from $100 to $250 -- creating another deterrent to        
underage drinking and  drinking and driving for anyone, at any age.            
The increased fee is expected to generate more than $1 million which           
will easily cover the $605,000 cost of the youth treatment program.            
This bill to address the problem of underage drinking is an integral           
component of my package on the youth justice system and an attempt             
to take an aggressive approach toward ending a growing crisis in our           
							Tony Knowles