Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/06/1993 08:35 AM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                        
  referring to limited licensing.  He explained that HB 136                    
  will restrict limited licenses to first time offenders.                      
  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                       
  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.                                                          
  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                  
  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                      
  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.                                

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