HB496 (2013) Detail

Relative to driving privileges for certain first-time DWI offenders.


HB 496-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2013 SESSION

13-0049

03/04

HOUSE BILL 496-FN

AN ACT relative to driving privileges for certain first-time DWI offenders.

SPONSORS: Rep. Shurtleff, Merr 11

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

ANALYSIS

This bill authorizes limited driving privileges for eligible first-time DWI offenders to facilitate employment, rehabilitation, and medical treatment.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

13-0049

03/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Thirteen

AN ACT relative to driving privileges for certain first-time DWI offenders.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Section; Limited Driving Privilege After Revocation or Suspension. Amend RSA 263 by inserting after section 57-a the following new section:

263:57-b Limited Driving Privilege After Revocation or Suspension.

I. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if a person is convicted of a first offense under RSA 265-A:2, I, he or she may petition the court for a restoration of his or her operator’s license with limited driving privileges. To qualify for consideration, the person shall submit an application that demonstrates the need for the license. Satisfactory evidence of at least one of the following must be presented:

(a) That the person must operate a motor vehicle as a requisite of the person’s occupation or employment.

(b) That the person must operate a motor vehicle to seek employment or to get to and from a place of employment.

(c) That the person must operate a motor vehicle to get to or from an alcohol or drug treatment or rehabilitation program.

(d) That the person or a member of the person’s immediate family requires medical treatment on a regular basis and the person must operate a motor vehicle in order that the treatment may be obtained.

II. A license restored under this section shall limit the person’s driving privileges:

(a) To the times, places, and days determined to be necessary for the person to seek or retain employment, to attend any alcohol or drug treatment or rehabilitation program, or to obtain required medical treatment for the person or a member of the person’s immediate family.

(b) To times, places, and days that are specifically stated.

(c) To vehicles equipped with enhanced technology ignition interlock devices.

III. A license restored under this section shall expire on the date specified by the court.

IV. A violation of this section or the terms of the license restored under this section shall be considered a violation of RSA 263:64 and the license shall be revoked.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2014.

LBAO

13-0049

01/16/13

HB 496-FN - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT relative to driving privileges for certain first-time DWI offenders.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Judicial Branch and Department of Safety state this bill, as introduced, may increase state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. The Judicial Council states this bill may decrease state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state, county, and local revenue, or county and local expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Judicial Branch states this bill amends RSA 263:57 by authorizing the restoration of limited driving privileges for first-time DWI offenders. To obtain restoration, an offender must file a petition in the district division of the circuit court and provide satisfactory evidence of at least one of four statutory criteria. The Branch assumes the cost to the Branch of processing each petition will be similar to that of processing a first-time DWI offense, which is a class B misdemeanor. The Branch projects the average cost of processing a class B misdemeanor will be $44.32 in FY 2014 and $45.84 in FY 2015. In addition, the bill makes violating the terms of a license restoration a violation-level offense. The Branch states the cost of processing a violation-level offense will be $42.85 in FY 2014 and $44.36 in FY 2015. The Branch states these case cost estimates are based on data that is more than seven years old and does not reflect the changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on the processing of these types of cases. While the Branch is unable to estimate how many restoration petitions will be filed in a given year, it notes that nearly 6,000 DWI first offenses were prosecuted in FY 2012.

    The Department of Safety states the bill will require modifying the Department’s existing database to account for license restorations and the new violation the bill creates for those who violate the terms of their license restoration. The Department projects the costs associated with designing, programming, and testing these changes will increase state expenditures by $84,375 in FY 2014. The costs are broken down as follows: $22,500 for design analysis (150 hours at $150 per hour); $16,875 for adding and updating programs (112.5 hours at $150 per hour); $22,500 for testing and debugging (150 hours at $150 per hour); and $22,500 for implementation of the final product (150 hours at $150 per hour). The Department further states the Prosecution Unit may experience increased workload as a result of the additional prosecutions and hearings that may result from the bill, but it is unlikely that additional staff will be required even with the added caseload.

    The Judicial Council states the bill may decrease the Council’s expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. The Council assumes that, because a DWI first offense does not carry the potential for incarceration and thus does not trigger the right to appointed counsel at state expense, the bill will not increase demand for court-appointed lawyers. The Council states that, by allowing those who have been convicted of a DWI offense to have their license restored under certain conditions, the bill may result in fewer people being prosecuted for driving after their license has been revoked. However, because the bill requires individuals to have a vehicle equipped with an enhanced technology ignition interlock device as a prerequisite to getting their license restored, the Council assumes most people who petition to have their license restored will not be indigent. For this reason, the Council assumes that only a small number of “operating after revocation” cases will be removed from the indigent-defense system as a result of the bill.

Links

HB496 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB496 Revision: 24650 Date: Jan. 25, 2013, midnight

Docket