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S.F. No. 562 - DWI Law Modifications
Author: Senator Bobby Joe Champion
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
Date: February 9, 2015


Sections 1, 4, and 6 amend the laws specifying the judicial review process for challenging loss of hunting privileges due to hunting while impaired (HWI), loss of driving privileges due to driving while impaired (DWI), and license plate impoundment due to DWI, respectively, to allow persons challenging the loss or impoundment to file a petition within 60 days rather than 30.

Section 2 amends the law related to challenging the loss of hunting privileges due to HWI to expand the affirmative defenses available to include all of the defenses described in the criminal DWI affirmative defense law (see section 3). This provision also applies to persons who have lost their operating privileges under the motorboat and snowmobile/all-terrain vehicle impaired operation laws.

Section 3 amends the criminal DWI affirmative defense law to specifically add the common law necessity defense. Also provides that it is an affirmative defense to driving while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a hazardous substance, or a combination, if the defendant proves consumption of a sufficient quantity of alcohol, controlled substances, or hazardous substances, or a combination, after the time of the violation and that this caused the defendant to be under the influence (this is a variation of a similar affirmative defense currently available (see lines 2.29-3.3)). Also adds an affirmative defense for the DWI test refusal crime that the defendant’s refusal to permit the test was based on reasonable grounds (this affirmative defense is currently available in the implied consent law, but not the criminal DWI law). Amends the current prescription drug affirmative defense by adding cross-references that were missed when the DWI law was recodified a few years ago. Provides that an affirmative defense under this section may not be raised unless prior notice is given to the prosecution.

Section 5 amends the DWI implied consent law to provide that the affirmative defenses described in the DWI criminal law (see section 3) are also available in the DWI implied consent law. Also specifically provides that any constitutional challenges are properly within the scope of an implied consent hearing and expands the scope of the hearing to also include a determination of whether the offender was, in fact, driving, operating, or in physical control of the motor vehicle.

Section 7 makes the same substantive changes to the criminal vehicular operation (CVO) law as are being made in the DWI criminal law regarding affirmative defenses (see section 3). However, the defense relating to test refusal is not included because that is not an offense under the CVO law.

Section 8 clarifies that the bill’s application is limited to DWI and CVO-related proceedings. Prohibits a court from construing the bill as addressing or limiting the applicability of affirmative defenses in other criminal or civil proceedings.

Section 9 repeals affirmative defense provisions in the CVO law that are superseded by the changes made in section 7.



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