Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/19/1993 01:00 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HB 138:  LIMITED DRIVERS' LICENSES                                           
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated that HB 136 allowed the                         
  department flexibility in that if no halfway house existed                   
  in a particular area, the department could determine an                      
  appropriate facility for a DWI offender to serve his or her                  
  sentence.  He said that the cost of incarceration would be                   
  standardized throughout the state.  He added that provisions                 
  of HB 138 had been rolled into HB 136.  Additionally, he                     
  said, some of the DMV's concerns regarding limited licenses                  
  were addressed in HB 136.                                                    
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER said that currently, a person                          
  convicted of a DWI offense for the first through sixth time                  
  was eligible to apply for a limited license.                                 
                                                                               
  Number 220                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS commented that Representative Mulder                 
  had been very generous in only requiring 80 hours of                         
  community service for second DWI offenders.  She said that                   
  when she had worked on a similar bill in the past, they had                  
  considered requiring 200 hours of community service.                         
                                                                               
  Number 231                                                                   
                                                                               
  JUANITA HENSLEY, CHIEF OF DRIVER SERVICES, DIVISION OF MOTOR                 
  VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (DPS), said that in                    
  1990, legislation passed which granted limited licenses for                  
  people convicted of up to a sixth drunk driving offense.                     
  She commented that no fiscal note had accompanied the 1990                   
  legislation; however, the law had impacted both the DMV and                  
  the court system immensely.  Additionally, she said that the                 
  1990 law had taken the state further away from eligibility                   
  for certain federal highway grants.                                          
                                                                               
  MS. HENSLEY stated that the federal government frowned upon                  
  states giving limited licenses to anyone but first                           
  offenders.                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. HENSLEY said that the draft committee substitute before                  
  the committee would bring Alaska one step closer to being                    
  eligible for those federal grants.  She said that HB 136                     
  would allow the DPS and the court to review the record of an                 
  offender whose license was presently suspended, as well.                     
  For individuals whose licenses were revoked for 40 or 50                     
  years, she said, the DPS could choose to shorten the                         
  revocation period, so that a person could see the "light at                  
  the end of the tunnel."                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Number 310                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that provisions from HB 138 had                    
  been rolled into HB 136.  He said that the intent of HB 138,                 
  as rolled into HB 136, was to address a problem regarding                    
  driving privileges for persons with multiple drunk driving                   
  convictions.  He noted that HB 136 would give the DMV the                    
  ability to review an individual's record, once the minimum                   
  time for each revocation had passed.                                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that it would be very hard for a                   
  person to continue with a regimen of abstinence and                          
  rehabilitation if there was no light at the end of the                       
  tunnel.  Additionally, he said that because limited licenses                 
  had been so problematic, the state would rather have the                     
  ability to get an individual back driving, without the                       
  problems of a limited license.                                               
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIDSON announced that he had to leave in                    
  order to attend another meeting.  He signed off of the                       
  teleconference at 2:54 p.m.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 366                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS asked what the current fine was for                  
  persons caught driving in violation of a limited license.                    
                                                                               
  Number 377                                                                   
                                                                               
  MIKE FORD, ATTORNEY, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS AGENCY, DIVISION OF                 
  LEGAL SERVICES, said that existing law was contained in the                  
  draft committee substitute, and that the fine was $1,000.                    
                                                                               
  Number 378                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS asked if a person paid a $1,000 fine                 
  each time she or he was convicted of a drunk driving                         
  offense.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 385                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. FORD commented that the section of the draft committee                   
  substitute which Representative Phillips was looking at,                     
  section 7, pertained to persons who drove without a license.                 
                                                                               
  Number 400                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS noted that a $1,000 fine might not                   
  mean anything to people who did not respect the revocation                   
  of their driver's license.                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. FORD noted that some people were not deterred by                         
  anything, except for being in jail.                                          
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS suggested considering raising the                    
  fine from $1,000 to $10,000.                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 403                                                                   
                                                                               
  MARGOT KNUTH, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, CRIMINAL DIVISION,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF LAW, said that the problem, from a law                         
  enforcement perspective, was that many people convicted of                   
  drunk driving offenses did not have even $100.  When a                       
  person had nothing, she said, he or she could lose nothing.                  
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS mentioned the permanent fund                         
  dividend check.                                                              
                                                                               
  MS. KNUTH commented that many of these people never even saw                 
  their permanent fund dividend checks, as they had already                    
  gone for child support and other obligations.                                
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS applauded the provision at the                       
  bottom of page 5 of the draft committee substitute, which                    
  said that the cost of imprisonment would not exceed $1,000.                  
                                                                               
  Number 422                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. KNUTH mentioned some technical problems with the draft                   
  committee substitute.  She said that it would be best to                     
  draft another committee substitute before acting on HB 136.                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Ford when another draft committee                  
  substitute would be available.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 441                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. FORD said that the changes to which Ms. Knuth was                        
  referring were not extensive; however, he cautioned that                     
  HB 136 was complex in nature.  Because of that, he                           
  recommended that all parties have time to digest the bill's                  
  contents and ensure that the bill did what it was intended                   
  to do.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 453                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. HENSLEY commented that the provision on page 4, lines                    
  20-21 of the draft committee substitute, instituting a $100                  
  fee for a limited driver's license, would change the DPS'                    
  fiscal note to be a revenue-generating one.                                  
                                                                               
  Number 465                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if a new committee substitute could be                 
  ready by the following Wednesday.  He said that he shared                    
  Mr. Ford's concern that all parties have time to digest HB
  136's contents.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 471                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS asked if the proposed amendments had                 
  been reviewed by the sponsor.                                                
                                                                               
  Number 476                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that the draft committee                           
  substitute for HB 136 was the result of a team effort.                       
                                                                               
  Number 479                                                                   
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER was unaware that there were problems                   
  with the current draft committee substitute.                                 
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS was concerned that agencies were                     
  bringing amendments to the attention of the Judiciary                        
  Committee without first contacting a bill's sponsor.                         
                                                                               
  Number 482                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER said that HB 136 would be held over until a                  
  new draft committee substitute could be prepared.  He stated                 
  that he would try to reschedule the bill for the following                   
  Wednesday.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 495                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. FORD commented that he could probably have a draft                       
  committee substitute prepared and distributed by Monday,                     
  giving all concerned parties time to review it prior to the                  
  Wednesday meeting.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 506                                                                   
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the meeting at 3:03 p.m.                           

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