Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/29/1993 01:00 PM House JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  TAPE 93-45, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  MS. KNUTH expressed her opinion that the elements of HB 136,                 
  Drunk Driving and Breath Test Offenses, would dovetail well                  
  with HB 61.                                                                  
  Number 020                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND was interested in amending HB 61 so                  
  as to make the state eligible for federal funding.  He asked                 
  Ms. Knuth if there were many acquittals for persons charged                  
  with DWI offenses, whose BAC registered on or near the .10                   
  Number 034                                                                   
  MS. KNUTH did not know about acquittals, but knew that there                 
  were many cases which were simply not prosecuted because the                 
  BAC was on or near the margin.  She commented that under                     
  current law, a person could be charged with a DWI offense if                 
  his or her BAC registered under .10.  However, she said that                 
  it was difficult to successfully prosecute such cases.  If                   
  the state had a .08 DWI offense, she added, the state                        
  expected that persons who had a BAC at or near the .10                       
  margin would plead down to the lesser .08 DWI offense.  The                  
  state did not expect to make more arrests, she said, just to                 
  end up with more convictions.                                                
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND stated that with HB 61, persons                      
  charged with a .10 DWI offense could plead down to the                       
  lesser .08 charge, whereas under current law, persons with a                 
  BAC at or near .10 were often not prosecuted.                                
  Number 081                                                                   
  MS. KNUTH was concerned about whether or not a .08                           
  conviction would count as a DWI offense, in terms of the                     
  state's repeat offender sentencing laws.  She feared that                    
  HB 61 would lessen the deterrent effect of the state's                       
  current DWI laws.                                                            
  Number 104                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER asked what would happen in the event that a                  
  person was convicted of a .08 DWI offense, and later was                     
  convicted of a DWI offense, with a BAC of .15.  "Would that                  
  person be treated as a second offender?" he asked.                           
  Number 112                                                                   
  MS. KNUTH believed that person would not be treated as a                     
  second offender.                                                             
  Number 122                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND recognized that as a problem.  He                    
  stated that the reason for making a .08 DWI a separate                       
  offense was to not add to the already overcrowded jails in                   
  the state.  He noted that if HB 61 was amended as the DOL                    
  had suggested, it would require a DOC fiscal note.  He                       
  mentioned Representative Eldon Mulder's HB 136, Drunk                        
  Driving and Breath Test Offenses, and said that if that bill                 
  passed, it would be a good idea to make the change suggested                 
  by Ms. Knuth.                                                                
  Number 156                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that the committee could ask the DOC                   
  to draft a fiscal note based on HB 136 being law at the time                 
  that HB 61 was enacted.                                                      
  Number 445                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE NORDLUND requested that the committee write a                 
  letter to the DOC, asking that its fiscal note indicate the                  
  effect of HB 61 in the event that HB 136 was enacted.                        
  Number 456                                                                   
  MS. HORETSKI indicated that the committee could request two                  
  different fiscal notes from the DOC, one of which could                      
  reflect the fiscal impact of HB 61, given enactment of HB
  Number 464                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN PORTER proposed asking the DOC to prepare two                       
  fiscal scenarios for HB 61, based on enactment and non-                      
  enactment of HB 136.                                                         
  Number 482                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES made a MOTION to MOVE out CSHB 61                       
  (JUD).  There being no objection, IT WAS SO ORDERED.                         
  CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the meeting at 3:55 p.m.                           

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