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S.F. No. 1548 - DWI Modifications
 
Author: Senator Ron Latz
 
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
 
Date: March 9, 2015



 

Overview

SF No. 1548 amends the DWI laws by requiring that first time DWI offenders whose alcohol concentrations are twice the legal limit or higher and repeat offenders participate in the ignition interlock program, making alcohol-related criminal vehicular homicide offenders ineligible for limited driver’s licenses but eligible for the ignition interlock program, exempting DWI offenders from having to take the written examination as a condition of driver’s license reinstatement, eliminating the requirement that certain DWI offenders get a limited driver’s license for the first year of their participation in the ignition interlock program, increasing the penalties for violating the ignition interlock law, limiting the individuals who must provide non-cancellable proof of insurance as a condition of participating in the ignition interlock program to those with a prior driving without insurance offense, and providing that ignition interlock program rules may be adopted via the expedited rulemaking law.

Section 1 amends the provision in the DWI law that addresses reinstatement of a DWI offender’s driver’s license. Strikes language regarding successfully completing an examination (see section 4) while adding a reference to proving compliance with the ignition interlock law, if applicable.

Section 2 amends the provision in the DWI law that addresses reinstatement of a DWI offender’s driver’s license. Prohibits certain DWI offenders from being eligible for driver’s license reinstatement without having completed the ignition interlock program.  These offenders include first time offenders with alcohol concentrations of twice the legal limit (0.16) or higher, and repeat offenders (second offense in ten years or third on record). Requires either one or two years in the program depending on the offense.

Section 3 amends the provision in the DWI law that addresses reinstatement of a DWI offender’s driver’s license. Prohibits offenders convicted of criminal vehicle homicide (CVH) involving alcohol from being eligible for driver’s license reinstatement without having completed the ignition interlock program.

Section 4 amends the provision of law that requires a person whose driver’s license has been revoked to successfully pass an examination before being issued another license. Exempts DWI offenders from this provision.

Section 5 amends the limited driver's license law to provide that certain more serious DWI offenders are not eligible for limited licenses (see section 9 for further explanation). Also provides that criminal vehicular operation (CVO) and CVH offenders whose offenses did not involve alcohol are eligible for limited licenses while other CVO/CVH offenders are not.

Section 6 amends the limited driver’s license law to provide that the 15 day waiting period (i.e., the “hard” revocation) for a first time DWI offender applies to offenders whose alcohol concentration was below twice the legal limit (0.16). Also updates statutory references to the CVO/CVH law missed during last session’s recodification.

Section 7 amends the limited driver’s license law to exclude all CVO/CVH offenders whose offenses involved alcohol from eligibility for a limited license. Under the bill, these offenders must participate in the ignition interlock program (see section 9).

Section 8 amends the ignition interlock law. Adds CVH offenders whose offenses involved alcohol to the program by expanding the definition of “program participant”.

Section 9 amends the ignition interlock law. Allows participation by CVH offenders whose offenses involved alcohol. Under current law, more serious DWI offenders (i.e., those with multiple priors) who participate in the program (which they must in order to drive legally) must have a limited license for the first year, in addition to being subject to ignition interlock. This section provides that these persons (along with CVO/CVH offenders with multiple priors) are no longer required to have the limited license (thus, while still subject to the interlock requirement, they are not subject to the restrictions of a limited license for the first year). Also provides that only persons who have a previous driving without insurance offense are required to present proof of current insurance that is non-cancellable for 12 months. Under current law, all program participants are required to prove this.

Section 10 amends the ignition interlock law to strike references to limited licenses in the law’s penalty provision consistent with the changes in section 9.

Section 11 amends the ignition interlock law to increase the criminal penalties from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor.

Section 12 amends the ignition interlock law to allow the commissioner of public safety to promulgate rules for the program under the expedited rulemaking law.

 

KPB/tg

 
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