Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/06/1993 08:35 AM House FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 136 "An Act relating to the offenses of driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit to a breath test; and providing for an effective date." REPRESENTATIVE MULDER explained that HB 136 would allow alternative sentencing for DWI offenders. He observed that there is a nine month waiting period to serve DWI jail time. He asserted that the intent of DWI sentencing is to allow immediate 72 hour incarceration. Jail time could be served in a community residential center (CRC). Offenders would pay for their time in CRC detention. Offenders would perform community service during their CRC incarceration. Representative Mulder noted that the Department of Public Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles requested sections 4 referring to limited licensing. He explained that HB 136 will restrict limited licenses to first time offenders. JUANITA HENSLEY, DIRECTOR, DRIVER'S SAFETY, DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY observed that the period of revocation would be reduced. She noted that under current law a limited license could be issue for as long as 25 years without review. She further explained limited licensing requirements. Representative Martin expressed concern that repeat offenders would not be dealt with as severely as under current law. Ms. Hensley clarified that only first and second offenders would be eligible for CRC placement. She noted that it is difficult to track limited licenses. Representative Martin expressed concern that the fiscal cost to the State is being increased. Representative Mulder observed that revenues will be derived through program receipts. Representative Mulder added that the court will be authorized to attach permanent fund dividend checks to reimburse the State for DWI offender's CRC incarceration, up to $1,000 thousand dollars. Representative Therriault asked if the Department of Law has been consulted concerning the constitutionality of the reimbursement cost. MARGOT KNUTH, CRIMINAL DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW explained that the CRC payment is capped at $1,000 thousand dollars. She emphasized that the amount would withstand a constitutional test. She added that the legislation contains provisions for indigent persons. Representative Parnell asked if Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) has reviewed CSHB 136 (JUD). Representative Mulder stated that MADD supports the judiciary version. Ms. Knuth clarified, in response to a question from Representative Brown, that it is against the law to refuse a breath test. No limited licenses will be issued to individuals that refuse breath tests. Ms. Hensley observed that the Department of Public Safety will be eligible for additional federal grants if the reduction in limited licenses as proposed in CSHB 136 (JUD) is adopted. Representative Therriault noted that current law allows a $250 dollar fine. Ms. Knuth clarified that $250 dollars is 5 the mandatory minimum amount that offenders can be fined. The maximum amount is $10,000. Representative Therriault felt that the current program should be revenue neutral. He asked if individuals are paying the $250 dollar fine. Ms. Knuth noted that current fines are deposited in the General Fund. She noted that there are costs to associated with reimbursments for the Public Defender, prosecution, judge, court clerk, corrections and probations. (Tape Change, HFC 93-94, Side 2) Representative Hanley noted that AS 28.151.181 (e) has been appealed. Representative Hanley MOVED to AMEND CSHB 136 (JUD) to delete references to AS 28.151. 181 (e) and add the appropriate statute reference. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Foster MOVED to report CSHB 136 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. Representative Martin asked the percentage of fines which have been paid to the State and the social economic background of offenders. Ms. Knuth stressed that there is no connection between the ability to pay and release. She emphasized that payment is set by regulation. She stated that empirical evidence indicates that the majority of DWI offenses are committed by working people and professionals. She restated that there is an indigent provision. There being NO OBJECTION, CSHB 136 (FIN) was moved from committee. CSHB 136 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no recommendation" and with two zero fiscal notes by the Department of Administration, dated 3/26/93; and with a fiscal impact note by the Department of Public Safety, dated 3/26/93; and with a zero fiscal note by the Department of Public Safety, dated 3/5/93; and with a zero fiscal note by the Department of Law, dated 3/5/93; and with a fiscal impact note by the Department of Corrections.