Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/27/1995 02:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 203 - PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS FOR DWI OFFENSES                              
                                                                               
 Number 150                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER called Margot Knuth forward to explain HB 203.                
                                                                               
 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division,                  
 Department of Law, thanked the committee for hearing the bill, on             
 behalf of both the Governor and the Department of Law.  HB 203                
 addresses previous convictions for purposes of our driving while              
 intoxicated (DWI) laws.  The problem this bill remedies is an                 
 Alaska appellate opinion stating that convictions from ".08"                  
 jurisdictions are not substantially similar to Alaska DWI ".10"               
 convictions; and therefore, these convictions were not counted as             
 prior convictions, for purposes of our mandatory minimum sentencing           
 for DWI offenses.  This bill adds language to the current statute             
 to include a law or ordinance of another jurisdiction that presumed           
 the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor at a                
 lower percentage by weight of alcohol in the person's blood, than             
 that required in Alaska law.  The legislature has concluded that a            
 DWI conviction is a DWI conviction, and should be treated as such.            
 There are three places this requires changes in our Title 28, and             
 HB 203 makes all of those necessary changes.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 195                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY noted this is the third time the committee              
 has looked at the DWI issue.  She asked Ms. Knuth if these fix-it             
 bills were just causing the committee to revisit issues that were             
 not addressed properly or completely the first time around.  She              
 wondered if there was a more efficient way they could be handling             
 this issue.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. KNUTH thought there would not be a more efficient way, because            
 it is the nature of criminal litigation that everybody who is                 
 convicted, has a right to try to poke a hole in the sand chute.               
 The court looks at all of the arguments that are made.  Even though           
 the court only accepts one out of a hundred, they end up finding              
 all of the other holes that need to be filled.                                
                                                                               
 Number 225                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHARLES MCKEE expressed personal concerns via teleconference from             
 Anchorage.  He spoke of his prior DWI conviction in 1976.  He does            
 not have a driver's license.  He does not even have a state I.D.              
 because of previous discrepancies with the actuaries and their                
 affiliation with the DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles), and the                
 state of Alaska, and the Judiciary.  He has been made aware that if           
 he decides to become licensed to drive in Alaska in the future, and           
 then tries to drive through Canada, that previous conviction on his           
 record would prohibit him from driving through Canada.  He would              
 like to see that remedied to his satisfaction.                                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER concluded the public hearing on HB 203.                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE made a motion to move HB 203 out of                  
 committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal             
 notes.  Seeing no objection, it was so ordered.                               
                                                                               

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