Revision: Feb. 19, 2020, 2:53 p.m.
HB 1667-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 1667-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Welch, Rock. 13; Rep. Meuse, Rock. 29; Rep. K. Murray, Rock. 24; Rep. P. Schmidt, Straf. 19; Rep. Rodd, Merr. 6; Rep. Berch, Ches. 1; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. French, Dist 7
This bill modifies the circumstances under which a driver's license may be suspended or revoked, and establishes a committee to study the creation of a restricted driving license for participants in drug court.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Motor Vehicles; Authority to Suspend or Revoke License. Amend RSA 263:56, I(d) to read as follows:
(d) Is incompetent to drive a motor vehicle by reason of physical[,] or mental [or moral] impairment[. For purposes of this paragraph, a license suspension or revocation on the basis of moral impairment shall be predicated only upon a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude];
I. Whenever any [defendant] person:
(a) Defaults on an arraignment or other scheduled court appearance in connection with a [charge or conviction of any offense] motor vehicle offense, unless otherwise allowed under law, or
(b) Fails to pay a fine or other penalty imposed in connection with a conviction of any motor vehicle offense which a court has determined he or she is able to pay, or issues a bad check in payment of a fine or other penalty; or
(c) Fails to comply with a similar order of the director or a court on any matter within the director's or court's jurisdiction including orders made pursuant to RSA 161-B:11, his or her driver's license or resident or nonresident driving privilege and in any motor vehicle case or related case the resident plates and motor vehicle registration shall be suspended or revoked only upon written consent of the director, effective 30 days after such default or failure, except as provided in subparagraph I(d) of this section.
VI. The provisions of this section shall be the primary sanction for defendants who fail to [appear, pay a fine, or other penalty or] comply with an order of the director or a court, but shall not exclude other provisions of law relative to sanctions for defendants who fail to appear, pay a fine, or other penalty or comply with an order of the director or a court.
I. There is established a committee to study the creation of a restricted driving license for participants in drug court.
II. The members of the committee shall be as follows:
(a) Four members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, including one member from the criminal justice and public safety committee and one member from the health, human services, and elderly affairs committee.
(b) One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.
III. Members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.
IV. The committee shall study the possible creation of a restricted driving license privilege for participants in drug court, including:
(a) The administration of a possible restricted or provisional driving license for participants in drug court, including administration by the courts and the division of motor vehicles.
(b) How the restrictions of such a license would be enforced.
(c) The benefits of having such a license for drug court participants, including in accessing treatment and employment.
(d) Lessons learned from existing restricted licenses in New Hampshire.
(e) Examples of such a restricted license in other states.
(f) Any costs associated with establishing such a license, including any cost savings.
V. The committee shall solicit information from any individual or entity the committee deems relevant to its study, including but not limited to:
(a) The director of the division of motor vehicles.
(b) The commissioner of the department of safety.
(c) A representative of the superior courts.
(d) A representative of the circuit courts.
(e) The statewide drug offender program coordinator.
(f) Individuals who have participated in drug court.
(g) Law enforcement.
(h) The New Hampshire County Attorneys Association.
(i) New Futures.
(j) The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire.
(k) The New Hampshire public defender program.
VI. The members of the study committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named house member. The first meeting of the committee shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section. Three members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.
VII. The committee shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2020.
I. Section 4 of this act shall take effect upon its passage.
II. The remainder of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 1667-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ ] General [ ] Education [ X ] Highway [ X ] Other - Restricted - Cost of Collections/Administration
*Pursuant to Part II, article 6-a of the New Hampshire constitution, any costs associated with the collection and administration of Highway Funds by the Department of Safety shall be deducted by the Department before such funds are credited to the Highway Fund as unrestricted revenue.
The Judicial Branch was contacted on October 29, 2019 and December 12, 2019, for a fiscal note worksheet, which the Judicial Branch has not provided as of December 30, 2019.
This bill modifies the circumstances under which a driver's license may be suspend or revoked and establishes procedures for restoration of a suspended or revoked license pursuant to an order for a superior court judge in a New Hampshire drug court. Under this proposed legislation, the Department of Safety states the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will no longer suspend individuals who have failed to appear at court, failed to pay court fines, failed to respond to a summons issued by a law enforcement officer, or have failed to comply with the sex offender registration requirements. Additionally, the proposed legislation removes the ability for the DMV to suspend an individual involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident or an accident with serious bodily injury for more than one year. The bill also removes the ability of the Director of Motor Vehicles to consider a license suspension or revocation without giving weight to the lack of criminal prosecution. Ultimately, it removes any and all authority to suspend for noncompliance with Title XXI, alcohol or drug involvement for a person under 21, individuals involved in flagrant cases and rulemaking authority for defaulting.
Due to the removal of suspensions and the reinstatement fees of $100 for driver’s licenses and $25 for registration privilege, this bill will likely result in a significant, but indeterminable, state revenue reduction. For information purposes, the Department of Safety states revenue collected for license and registration restoration fees for the period of 09/01/18-08/30/19 was nearly $5,000,000 (approximately $4,000,000 for licenses and $1,000,000 for registrations).
The Department of Safety also anticipates one-time system programming costs in FY 2021 of approximately $917,000:
VISION Development and Test
VISION New Credential Setup
VISION Restructure Financial Responsibility
MAAP System Chances (Includes Testing)
Other Systems (Website, Online Ticket Pay, etc…)
Vendor Costs for New Credential, Drug Court License
Department of Safety and Judicial Branch