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Substitute House Bill No. 6698

Public Act No. 03-265

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, DRUNKEN DRIVING AND THE LICENSING OF SIXTEEN AND SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATORS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (g) of section 14-227a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(g) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall: (1) For conviction of a first violation, (A) be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, and (B) be (i) imprisoned not more than six months, forty-eight consecutive hours of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, or (ii) imprisoned not more than six months, with the execution of such sentence of imprisonment suspended entirely and a period of probation imposed requiring as a condition of such probation that such person perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, and (C) have such person's motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended for one year; (2) for conviction of a second violation within ten years after a prior conviction for the same offense, (A) be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than four thousand dollars, (B) be imprisoned not more than two years, one hundred twenty consecutive days of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that such person perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, and (C) (i) have such person's motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended for three years or until the date of such person's twenty-first birthday, whichever is longer, or (ii) if such person has been convicted of a violation of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section on account of being under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section, have such person's motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended for one year and be prohibited for the two-year period following completion of such period of suspension from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device, as defined in section 3 of this act; and (3) for conviction of a third and subsequent violation within ten years after a prior conviction for the same offense, (A) be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than eight thousand dollars, (B) be imprisoned not more than three years, one year of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that such person perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, and (C) have such person's motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege permanently revoked upon such third offense. For purposes of the imposition of penalties for a second or third and subsequent offense pursuant to this subsection, a conviction under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section in effect on October 1, 1981, or as amended thereafter, a conviction under the provisions of either subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this section, a conviction under the provisions of section 53a-56b or 53a-60d or a conviction in any other state of any offense the essential elements of which are determined by the court to be substantially the same as subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this section or section 53a-56b or 53a-60d, shall constitute a prior conviction for the same offense.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) For the purposes of this section and section 3 of this act:

(1) "Ignition interlock device" means a device installed in a motor vehicle that measures the blood alcohol content of the operator and disallows the mechanical operation of such motor vehicle until the blood alcohol content of such operator is less than twenty-five thousandths of one per cent; and

(2) "Immobilization device" means a device installed on a motor vehicle that physically or mechanically prevents such motor vehicle from being operated.

(b) Any person who has been arrested for a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a of the general statutes, section 53a-56b of the general statutes, or section 53a-60d of the general statutes, may be ordered by the court not to operate any motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device, or may be ordered by the court after a hearing to install an immobilization device on any motor vehicle that such person owns, leases or otherwise has the right to operate. Any such order may be made as a condition of such person's release on bail or as a condition of granting such person's application for participation in the pretrial alcohol education system under section 54-56g of the general statutes, and may include any other terms and conditions as to duration, use, proof of installation or any other matter that the court determines to be appropriate or necessary.

(c) All costs of installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device or immobilization device shall be borne by the person who is the subject of an order made pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, for the approval of ignition interlock devices, and for the proper calibration and maintenance of such devices. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, for the approval of immobilization devices. No ignition interlock device or immobilization device shall be installed pursuant to an order of the court under subsection (b) of this section unless such device has been approved under such regulations.

(e) No provision of this section shall be construed to authorize the operation of a motor vehicle by any person whose motor vehicle operator's license has been refused, suspended or revoked, or who does not hold a valid motor vehicle operator's license. A court shall inform the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of each order made by it pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. If any person who has been ordered to install an ignition interlock device is the holder of a special permit to operate a motor vehicle for employment purposes, issued by the commissioner under the provisions of section 14-37a of the general statutes, strict compliance with the terms of the order shall be deemed a condition to hold such permit, and any failure to comply with such order shall be sufficient cause for immediate revocation of the permit by the commissioner.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) No person whose right to operate a motor vehicle has been restricted pursuant to an order of the court under subsection (b) of section 2 of this act shall (1) request or solicit another person to blow into an ignition interlock device or to start a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for the purpose of providing such person with an operable motor vehicle, or (2) operate any motor vehicle not equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device or any motor vehicle that a court has ordered such person not to operate.

(b) No person shall tamper with, alter or bypass the operation of an ignition interlock device or immobilization device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person whose right to operate a motor vehicle has been restricted pursuant to an order of the court under subsection (b) of section 2 of this act.

(c) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor.

(d) Each court shall report each conviction under subsection (a) or (b) of this section to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in accordance with the provisions of section 14-141 of the general statutes. The commissioner shall suspend the motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of the person reported as convicted for a period of one year.

Sec. 4. Section 14-227c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) As part of the investigation of any motor vehicle accident resulting in [a fatality] the death of a person, the Chief Medical Examiner, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, an associate medical examiner, a pathologist as specified in section 19a-405, or an authorized assistant medical examiner, as the case may be, shall order that a blood sample be taken from the body of any operator or pedestrian who dies as a result of such accident. Such blood samples shall be examined for the presence and concentration of alcohol and any drug by the Division of Scientific Services within the Department of Public Safety or by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Nothing in this subsection or section 19a-406 shall be construed as requiring such medical examiner to perform an autopsy in connection with obtaining such blood samples.

(b) [To the extent provided by law, a] A blood or breath sample [may also] shall be obtained from any surviving operator whose motor vehicle is involved in [such] an accident resulting in the serious physical injury, as defined in section 53a-3, or death of another person, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that such operator operated such motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both. The test shall be performed by or at the direction of a police officer according to methods and with equipment approved by the Department of Public Safety and shall be performed by a person certified or recertified for such purpose by said department or recertified by persons certified as instructors by the Commissioner of Public Safety. The equipment used for such test shall be checked for accuracy by a person certified by the Department of Public Safety immediately before and after such test is performed. If a blood test is performed, it shall be on a blood sample taken by a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state, a qualified laboratory technician, an emergency medical technician II, a registered nurse or a phlebotomist. The blood samples obtained from [the surviving] an operator pursuant to this subsection shall be examined for the presence and concentration of alcohol and any drug by the Division of Scientific Services within the Department of Public Safety. [Nothing in this section or section 19a-406 shall be construed as requiring such medical examiner to perform an autopsy in connection with obtaining such blood samples. ]

Sec. 5. Subdivision (59) of subsection (a) of section 14-1 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(59) "Passenger motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle used for the private transportation of persons and their personal belongings, designed to carry occupants in comfort and safety, [with not less than fifty per cent of the total area enclosed by the outermost body contour lines, excluding the area enclosing the engine, as seen in a plan view, utilized for designated seating positions and necessary legroom] with a capacity of carrying not more than ten passengers including the operator thereof.

Sec. 6. Subsection (c) of section 14-10 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(c) (1) All records of the Department of Motor Vehicles pertaining to the application for registration, and the registration, of motor vehicles of the current or previous three years shall be maintained by the commissioner at the main office of the department. Any such records over three years old may be destroyed at the discretion of the commissioner. (2) Before disclosing personal information pertaining to an applicant or registrant from such motor vehicle records or allowing the inspection of any such record containing such personal information in the course of any transaction conducted at such main office, the commissioner shall ascertain whether such disclosure is authorized under subsection (f) of this section, and require the person or entity making the request to (A) complete an application that shall be on a form prescribed by the commissioner, and (B) provide two forms of acceptable identification. [, and (C) pay a fee of fifteen dollars to the commissioner in addition to any fee required under section 14-50a. ] An attorney-at-law admitted to practice in this state may provide his or her juris number to the commissioner in lieu of the requirements of subparagraph (B) of this subdivision. The commissioner may disclose such personal information or permit the inspection of such record containing such information only if such disclosure is authorized under subsection (f) of this section, as amended by this act.

Sec. 7. Subsection (f) of section 14-10 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(f) The commissioner may disclose personal information from a motor vehicle record to:

(1) Any federal, state or local government agency in carrying out its functions or to any individual or entity acting on behalf of any such agency, or

(2) Any individual, organization or entity that signs and files with the commissioner, under penalty of false statement as provided in section 53a-157b, a statement on a form approved by the commissioner, together with such supporting documentation or information as the commissioner may require, that such information will be used for any of the following purposes:

(A) In connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft, motor vehicle emissions, motor vehicle product alterations, recalls or advisories, performance monitoring of motor vehicles and dealers by motor vehicle manufacturers and removal of nonowner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers to implement the provisions of the federal Automobile Information Disclosure Act, 15 USC 1231 et seq. , [the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Saving Act, 15 USC 1901 et seq. , the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, 15 USC 1381 et seq. , Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992, 15 USC 2021 et seq. , and] the Clean Air Act, 42 USC 7401 et seq. , and 49 USC Chapters 301, 305 and 321 to 331, inclusive, as amended from time to time, and any provision of the general statutes enacted to attain compliance with said federal acts;

(B) In the normal course of business by the requesting party, but only to confirm the accuracy of personal information submitted by the individual to the requesting party;

(C) In connection with any civil, criminal, administrative or arbitral proceeding in any court or government agency or before any self-regulatory body, including the service of process, an investigation in anticipation of litigation by an attorney-at-law or any individual acting on behalf of an attorney-at-law and the execution or enforcement of judgments and orders, or pursuant to an order of any court provided the requesting party is a party in interest to such proceeding;

(D) In connection with matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft, motor vehicle emissions, motor vehicle product alterations, recalls or advisories, performance monitoring of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and dealers, motor vehicle market research activities including survey research, motor vehicle product and service communications, and removal of nonowner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers, provided the personal information is not published, disclosed or used to contact individuals except as permitted under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision;

(E) By any insurer or insurance support organization or by a self-insured entity or its agents, employees or contractors, in connection with the investigation of claims arising under insurance policies, antifraud activities, rating or underwriting;

(F) In providing any notice required by law to owners or lienholders named in the certificate of title of towed, abandoned or impounded motor vehicles;

(G) By an employer or its agent or insurer to obtain or verify information relating to a holder of a passenger endorsement or commercial driver's license required under [the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986,] 49 USC [2304 et seq. ] Chapter 313, and sections 14-44 to 14-44m, inclusive;

(H) In connection with any lawful purpose of a labor organization, as defined in section 31-77, provided (i) such organization has entered into a contract with the commissioner, on such terms and conditions as the commissioner may require, and (ii) the information will be used only for the purposes specified in the contract other than campaign or political purposes;

(I) For bulk distribution for surveys, marketing or solicitations provided the commissioner has obtained the express consent of the individual to whom such personal information pertains;

(J) For the purpose of preventing fraud by verifying the accuracy of personal information contained in a motor vehicle record, including an individual's photograph or computerized image, as submitted by an individual to a legitimate business or an agent, employee or contractor of a legitimate business, provided the individual has provided express consent in accordance with subdivision [(4)] (5) of subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 8. Section 14-16c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2004):

(a) (1) (A) Any insurance company which takes possession of a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued in this state, that has been declared a total loss [, in] and that is offered for sale in this state by such insurance company or its agent as a result of the settlement of a claim for damage or theft, shall stamp the word "SALVAGE" in one-inch-high letters not to exceed three inches in length on the vehicle's certificate of title and shall attach to such certificate of title a copy of the appraiser's damage report for such totalled motor vehicle, except that if the insurance company determines that such motor vehicle has ten or more major component parts which are damaged beyond repair and must be replaced, the insurance company shall stamp the words "SALVAGE PARTS ONLY" in one-inch-high letters not to exceed three inches in length on the vehicle's certificate of title. A copy of such certificate shall be sent by the insurance company to the Department of Motor Vehicles. (B) Any insurance company which takes possession of a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued in any state other than this state that has been declared a total loss and that is offered for sale in this state by such insurance company or its agent as a result of the settlement of a claim for damage or theft, shall attach to such certificate of title a copy of the appraiser's damage report for such totalled motor vehicle.

(2) (A) Any person, firm or corporation which is a self-insurer and owns a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued in this state, that has been declared a total loss and that is offered for sale in this state by such self-insurer or its agent, shall stamp the word "SALVAGE" in one-inch-high letters not to exceed three inches in length on the vehicle's certificate of title and shall attach to such certificate of title a copy of the appraiser's damage report for such totalled motor vehicle, except that if such self-insurer determines that such motor vehicle has ten or more major component parts which are damaged beyond repair and must be replaced, the self-insurer shall stamp the words "SALVAGE PARTS ONLY" in one-inch-high letters not to exceed three inches in length on the motor vehicle's certificate of title. Any person, firm or corporation which is insured other than by means of self-insurance and owns such a motor vehicle, shall forward the vehicle's certificate of title to the company insuring such vehicle or the company paying the totalled claim. Such insurer shall stamp the word "SALVAGE" in one-inch-high letters not to exceed three inches in length on the certificate of title except that if the insurance company determines that such motor vehicle has ten or more major component parts which are damaged beyond repair and must be replaced, the insurer taking possession of such motor vehicle shall stamp the words "SALVAGE PARTS ONLY" in one-inch-high letters not to exceed three inches in length on the motor vehicle's certificate of title and shall return such certificate to such person, firm or corporation. A copy of such certificate shall be sent by the person, firm or corporation to the Department of Motor Vehicles. (B) Any person, firm or corporation which is a self-insurer and owns a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued in any state other than this state that has been declared a total loss and that is offered for sale in this state by such self-insurer or its agent, shall attach to such certificate of title a copy of the appraiser's damage report for such totalled motor vehicle.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, "major component part" shall have the same meaning as provided in subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 14-149a.

(b) Any insurance company or its agent taking possession of a motor vehicle in accordance with subsection (a) of this section or any person, firm or corporation which owns such motor vehicle shall copy the [stamped] certificate and give the original of such certificate, with a copy of the appraiser's damage report attached thereto, to any subsequent purchaser of the motor vehicle that has been declared a total loss. The name and address of any such purchaser [must] shall be recorded on [the reverse side of] the original and the copy, as provided on the certificate. The copy shall serve only as a record of transfers of the total loss motor vehicle.

(c) The person, firm, company or corporation required to stamp "SALVAGE" on the certificate of title shall stamp the following statement on the face of any original or copy of such certificate issued in accordance with this section: "WARNING: ALL PURCHASERS OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE DESCRIBED HEREIN MUST RECORD THEIR NAME AND ADDRESS ON THE REVERSE SIDE. THIS VEHICLE CANNOT BE REGISTERED OR RETITLED WITHOUT PASSING INSPECTION UNDER SECTION 14-103a. THIS DOCUMENT MUST BE SUBMITTED AT THE TIME OF INSPECTION. "

(d) No motor vehicle for which a copy has been made in accordance with this section may be operated upon any highway in this state, except that an owner of any such motor vehicle who is a motor vehicle dealer or repairer licensed under the provisions of section 14-52 may operate such vehicle for the purpose of presenting the vehicle for inspection pursuant to section 14-103a. If such vehicle fails to comply with the minimum standards, it shall be transported from the site of such inspection. If any such motor vehicle is rebuilt for sale or use, the owner shall apply to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles for an original certificate of title and present the vehicle for inspection pursuant to section 14-103a. The certificate of title issued in accordance with this section must be presented at the time of inspection, unless waived by the commissioner for good cause.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued in this state, that has been declared a total loss in settlement of a claim for theft, having no damage to a major component part or having damage not exceeding (1) fifteen per cent of the retail value of such motor vehicle, as determined in accordance with the provisions of section 38a-353, or (2) one thousand dollars as evidenced by an insurance adjuster's damage appraisal report, shall not be required to have its certificate of title stamped in accordance with the provisions of this section provided proof of such damage or lack of damage to a major component part, is attached to such certificate.

(f) No insurance company and no firm or corporation which is a self-insurer may sell or transfer any totalled or salvaged motor vehicle, major component parts or any other parts of a motor vehicle to any person, firm or corporation which is not licensed under the provisions of subparts (D) or (H) of part III of this chapter. No person, firm or corporation licensed as a new or used car dealer who holds a permit pursuant to the provisions of section 14-65 may sell or transfer any totalled or salvaged motor vehicle with a certificate of title stamped "SALVAGE PARTS ONLY" or any motor vehicle which has ten or more major component parts damaged beyond repair and in need of replacement to any person, firm or corporation which is not licensed under the provisions of subpart (H) of part III of this chapter or under a similar provision of law of any other state. Any sale or transfer in violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute an unfair method of competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice, as defined by section 42-110b.

(g) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to implement the provisions of this section.

Sec. 9. Section 14-55 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

In any town, city or borough the local authorities referred to in section 14-54 shall, upon receipt of an application for a certificate of approval referred to in said section, assign the same for hearing within sixty-five days of the receipt of such application. Notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in such town, city or borough at least twice, at intervals of not less than two days, the first not more than fifteen, nor less than ten days, and the last not less than two days before the date of such hearing and sent by certified mail to the applicant not less than fifteen days before the date of such hearing. All decisions on such certificate of approval shall be rendered within sixty-five days of such hearing. The applicant may consent to one or more extensions of any period specified in this section, provided the total extension of any such period shall not be for longer than the original period as specified in this section. The reasons for granting or denying such application shall be stated by the board or official. Notice of the decision shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in such town, city or borough and sent by certified mail to the applicant within fifteen days after such decision has been rendered. Such applicant shall pay a fee of ten dollars, together with the costs of publication and expenses of such hearing, to the treasurer of such town, city or borough. No such certificate shall be issued until the application has been approved and such location has been found suitable for the business intended, with due consideration to its location in reference to schools, churches, theaters, traffic conditions, width of highway and effect on public travel. In any case in which such approval has been previously granted for any location, the local authority may waive the requirement of a hearing on a subsequent application. In addition, the local authority may waive the requirement of a hearing on an application wherein the previously approved location of a place of business is to be enlarged to include adjoining or adjacent property.

Sec. 10. Section 14-69 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

No person shall engage in the business of conducting a drivers' school without being licensed therefor by the commissioner. Application therefor shall be in writing and shall contain such information as the commissioner requires. Each applicant shall be fingerprinted before such application is approved. If the application is approved, the applicant shall be granted a license upon the payment of a fee of one hundred dollars and a deposit with the commissioner of cash or a bond of a surety company authorized to do business in this state, conditioned on the faithful performance by the applicant of any contract to furnish instruction, in either case in such amount as the commissioner may require, such cash or bond to be held by the commissioner to satisfy any execution issued against such school in a cause arising out of failure of such school to perform such contract. [On and after July 1, 1985, the] The license fee shall be [one hundred fifty dollars, on and after July 1, 1989, two hundred twenty-five dollars, on and after July 1, 1991, two hundred eighty dollars, and on and after July 1, 1993,] three hundred fifty dollars. For each additional place of business of such school, the commissioner shall charge a fee of [twenty-five dollars and, on and after July 1, 1985, thirty-eight dollars, on and after July 1, 1989, fifty-six dollars, on and after July 1, 1991, seventy dollars, and on and after July 1, 1993,] eighty-eight dollars. No license shall be required in the case of any board of education, or any public, private or parochial school, which conducts a course in driver education [approved by the State Board of Education or any person or school which gives instruction in any form or manner in the operation of other than private motor vehicles for compensation and is under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Education as provided in section 10-8] established in accordance with sections 14-36e and 14-36f. A license so issued shall be valid during the calendar year. The annual fee for renewal shall be the same amount and the same deposit of security shall be required. The commissioner shall issue a license certificate or certificates to each licensee, one of which shall be displayed in each place of business of the licensee. In case of the loss, mutilation or destruction of a certificate, the commissioner shall issue a duplicate upon proof of the facts and the payment of a fee of two dollars. [On and after July 1, 1985, such] Such fee shall be [three dollars, on and after July 1, 1989, four dollars and fifty cents, on and after July 1, 1991, five dollars and seventy-five cents, and on and after July 1, 1993,] seven dollars.

Sec. 11. Section 14-149 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) No person shall purchase, sell or have in such person's possession any motor vehicle, including construction equipment, or a major component part thereof, as defined in section 14-67h, or agricultural tractors or farm implements with a mutilated, altered or removed vehicle identification, factory or engine number or a number which shows evidence of having been tampered with, except as hereinafter provided.

(b) Any officer attached to an organized police department, any state police officer or inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, upon discovery of any motor vehicle, including construction equipment, or major component part thereof, as defined in section 14-67h, or agricultural tractors or farm implements, the vehicle identification, engine or factory number of which has been mutilated, altered or removed, shall take such motor vehicle or major component part if not affixed to such vehicle, or agricultural tractor or farm implement into [such officer's] custody. [Any] Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any such motor vehicle or major component part or agricultural tractor or farm implement shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of section 54-36a, and in the case of a motor vehicle for which the owner, registration or title has been identified, a report of such action shall be made to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Such officer or inspector may take into custody the operator of such motor vehicle or agricultural tractor or farm implement or person in possession of such part and present such operator or person before a proper court. No such operator or person shall be discharged from custody until such operator or person has proved to the satisfaction of the court the ownership of such motor vehicle or such part or such agricultural tractor or farm implement and such operator's or person's right to its custody, provided any such operator or person may be admitted to bail pending proceedings thereon. If such operator or person is unable to establish ownership of such motor vehicle or such part or such agricultural tractor or farm implement to the satisfaction of the court, the court shall order such motor vehicle or part to be forfeited and turned over to the police department or agency whose officer or inspector seized such motor vehicle or part or agricultural tractor or farm implement to be used for such department or agency's purposes or sold at auction with the proceeds given to such department or agency. No officer or inspector shall be personally liable for any official act [done] performed under the provisions of this section.

(c) Any inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, upon discovery of any motor vehicle or major component part, the vehicle identification, engine or factory number of which has been mutilated, altered or removed in the possession of any licensee of the department, including a new or used car dealer who has been issued an auction permit in accordance with the provisions of section 14-65, or a motor vehicle dealer or repairer authorized to tow or transport and store motor vehicles in accordance with the provisions of section 14-66, shall take such motor vehicle or major component part into custody. If the motor vehicle or major component part is owned by any such licensee or an insurance company, or if such licensee or insurance company has the right to transfer and dispose of such vehicle or major component part, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may, upon receipt of transfer of title or forfeiture of all right and interest therein and notwithstanding the method of disposition required under subsection (b) of this section, make any disposition of such motor vehicle or major component part that the commissioner deems necessary or advisable. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to construction equipment, agricultural tractors or farm implements, the vehicle identification, engine or factory number of which has been mutilated, altered or removed.

[(c)] (d) Any officer attached to an organized police department, any state police officer or inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, upon discovery of any motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement which has been reported as stolen, shall take such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement into [such officer's] custody and have it returned to its rightful owner or, if such owner cannot be determined or if such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement is needed for evidence, shall have it taken to and stored in a suitable place.

[(d)] (e) No motor vehicle shall be registered unless it has permanently cut, impressed or embossed on some portion thereof a factory, serial or identification number or mark. Any person who knowingly has in such person's possession any motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement from which the factory, serial or other identification number has been removed, defaced, obliterated or changed shall [forthwith] immediately file with the commissioner a sworn statement describing such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement and showing the source of such person's title and, if known, the reason for such removal, defacement, obliteration or change, together with a fee in the amount of fifty dollars. If satisfied as to the facts, the commissioner may grant permission to cut, impress or emboss permanently into the motor of such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement a special identification number or mark which shall thereafter be deemed sufficient for the purpose of registration of such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement. No person shall wilfully remove, deface, obliterate or change or cause to be removed, obliterated, defaced or changed any factory, serial or other identification number or mark on or from any motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement.

[(e)] (f) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall, for the first offense, be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, and, for the second or subsequent offense, be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Sec. 12. Subsection (a) of section 14-227f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any person whose motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended under subsection (g) of section 14-227a for a conviction of a [second or subsequent] violation of subsection (a) of said section or under section 14-227b for a second or subsequent time shall participate in a treatment program approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The commissioner shall not reinstate the operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of any such person until such person submits evidence to the commissioner that he has satisfactorily completed the treatment program.

Sec. 13. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) On and after January 1, 2004, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall issue Childhood Cancer Awareness commemorative number plates of a design to enhance public awareness of state efforts to treat and cure childhood cancer. The design shall be determined by agreement between the Commissioner of Public Health and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. No use shall be made of such plates except as official registration marker plates.

(b) A fee of fifty dollars shall be charged for Childhood Cancer Awareness commemorative number plates, in addition to the regular fee or fees prescribed for the registration of a motor vehicle. Fifteen dollars of such fee shall be deposited in an account controlled by the Department of Motor Vehicles to be used for the cost of producing, issuing, renewing and replacing such number plates and thirty-five dollars of such fee shall be deposited in an account controlled by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for purposes of section 14 of this act. Such number plates shall have letters and numbers selected by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The commissioner may establish a higher fee for: (1) Number plates that contain the numbers and letters from a previously issued number plate; (2) number plates that contain letters in place of numbers as authorized by section 14-49 of the general statutes, in addition to the fee or fees prescribed for registration under section 14-40 of the general statutes; and (3) number plates that are low number plates issued in accordance with section 14-160 of the general statutes, in addition to the fee or fees prescribed for registration under section 14-160 of the general statutes. All fees established and collected pursuant to this section, except moneys designated for administrative costs of the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall be deposited in the Childhood Cancer Awareness account established pursuant to section 14 of this act.

(c) A renewal fee of fifteen dollars shall be charged for renewal or registration of a motor vehicle bearing Childhood Cancer Awareness commemorative number plates, in addition to the regular fee or fees prescribed for renewal of registration of a motor vehicle. Five dollars of the renewal fee shall be designated for administrative costs of the Department of Motor Vehicles. No additional renewal fee shall be charged for renewal of registration for any motor vehicle bearing Childhood Cancer Awareness commemorative number plates which contain letters in place of numbers, or low number plates, in excess of the renewal fee for Childhood Cancer Awareness commemorative number plates with letters and numbers selected by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. No transfer fee shall be charged for transfer of an existing registration to or from a registration with Childhood Cancer Awareness commemorative number plates.

(d) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health, may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to establish standards and procedures for the issuance, renewal and replacement of Childhood Cancer Awareness commemorative number plates.

Sec. 14. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) There is established an account to be known as the "Childhood Cancer Awareness account" which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund. The account shall contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account.

(b) The moneys in said account shall be expended by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for the purposes of: (1) Providing funding to the pediatric oncology units at Connecticut Children's Medical Center and Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, and (2) reimbursement of the Department of Motor Vehicles for the cost of producing, issuing, renewing and replacing Childhood Cancer Awareness number plates, including administrative expenses, pursuant to section 14-21f of the general statutes.

(c) The secretary may receive private donations to said account and any such receipts shall be deposited in the account.

(d) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may provide for the reproduction and marketing of the Childhood Cancer Awareness number plate image for use on clothing, recreational equipment, posters, mementoes, or other products or programs deemed by the commissioner to be suitable as a means of supporting the childhood cancer awareness account. Any moneys received by the commissioner from such marketing shall be deposited in said account.

Sec. 15. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) On and after January 1, 2004, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall issue wildlife conservation commemorative number plates of a design to enhance public awareness of state efforts to conserve wildlife species and their habitats in Connecticut. The design shall be determined by agreement between the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. No use shall be made of such plates except as official registration marker plates.

(b) A fee of fifty dollars shall be charged for wildlife conservation commemorative number plates, in addition to the regular fee or fees prescribed for the registration of a motor vehicle. Fifteen dollars of such fee shall be deposited in an account controlled by the Department of Motor Vehicles to be used for the cost of producing, issuing, renewing and replacing such number plates and thirty-five dollars of such fee shall be deposited in an account controlled by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management for purposes of section 16 of this act. Such number plates shall have letters and numbers selected by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The commissioner may establish a higher fee for: (1) Number plates that contain the numbers and letters from a previously issued number plate; (2) number plates that contain letters in place of numbers as authorized by section 14-49 of the general statutes, in addition to the fee or fees prescribed for registration under said section; and (3) number plates that are low number plates issued in accordance with section 14-160 of the general statutes, in addition to the fee or fees prescribed for registration under said section.

(c) A renewal fee of fifteen dollars shall be charged for renewal of registration of a motor vehicle bearing a wildlife conservation commemorative number plate, in addition to the regular fee or fees prescribed for renewal of registration of a motor vehicle. Five dollars of the renewal fee shall be designated for administrative costs of the Department of Motor Vehicles. No additional renewal fee shall be charged for renewal of registration for any motor vehicle bearing a wildlife conservation commemorative number plate which contain letters in place of numbers, or low number plates, in excess of the renewal fee for wildlife conservation commemorative number plates with letters and numbers selected by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. No transfer fee shall be charged for transfer of an existing registration to or from a registration with wildlife conservation commemorative number plates.

(d) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to establish standards and procedures for the issuance, renewal and replacement of wildlife conservation commemorative number plates.

(e) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may notify eligible motorists of the opportunity to obtain wildlife conservation program commemorative number plates by including a notice with motor vehicle registration renewals and by posting appropriate posters or signs in all division facilities and offices. The notices, posters and signs shall be designed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection in consultation with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

Sec. 16. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) There is established an account to be known as the "wildlife conservation account". The wildlife conservation account shall be an account of the Conservation Fund established under section 22a-27h of the general statutes. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account shall be deposited in the Conservation Fund and credited to the wildlife conservation account. Any balance remaining in the account at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in the account for the fiscal year next succeeding. The account shall be available to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for: (1) Matching federal and private wildlife conservation funds; (2) providing grants to municipalities and nonprofit organizations for wildlife conservation purposes; (3) wildlife research and management, with an emphasis on those wildlife species in greatest need of conservation; (4) wildlife inventory and restoration; (5) wildlife habitat acquisition, restoration, enhancement and management, including, but not limited to, the conservation of grasslands and other early successional habitats; and (6) public outreach that promotes the preservation of the state's wildlife diversity.

(b) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may receive private donations to the wildlife conservation account and any such receipts shall be deposited in the account.

(c) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may provide for the reproduction and marketing of the wildlife conservation commemorative number plate image for use on clothing, recreational equipment, posters, mementoes, or other products or programs deemed by the commissioner to be suitable as a means of supporting the wildlife conservation account. Any funds received by the commissioner from such marketing shall be deposited in the wildlife conservation account.

Sec. 17. (Effective July 1, 2003) (a) There is established a task force to study the use and display of flashing, revolving and other nonstandard lighting equipment on motor vehicles. The task force shall study the types of such nonstandard lights, the classes of motor vehicles on which such lights may be installed and the safety risks and benefits of the use of such lights. Such study shall include, but not be limited to (1) the feasibility of adopting standard colors for different classes of emergency vehicles, (2) limitations on revolving lights with respect to law enforcement and nonlaw enforcement vehicles, (3) the need to clarify existing statutory standards, (4) evaluation of the current process for permitting or authorizing the use of flashing or revolving lights, and (5) means and methods of enforcement standards and restrictions.

(b) The task force shall consist of the following members: (1) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, or the commissioner's designee, (2) the Commissioner of Public Safety, or the commissioner's designee, (3) the Commissioner of Transportation, or the commissioner's designee, (4) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, (5) a representative of the Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association, appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, (6) a representative of a police trooper organization, appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, (7) a representative of a driving safety advocacy group, appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, (8) an automotive engineer, appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, (9) a representative of the Connecticut Firefighters Association, appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, (10) a representative of a volunteer fire department, appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and (11) an emergency services provider, appointed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

(c) All appointments to the task force shall be made no later than August 1, 2003. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority. The task force shall elect the chairperson at its first meeting from among its members.

(d) Not later than February 4, 2004, the task force shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the Department of Motor Vehicles and to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or on February 4, 2004, whichever is earlier.

Sec. 18. Section 83 of public act 03-115 is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

Bridge number 1392 located on Route 156 in the town of Old Lyme overpassing the Lieutenant River shall be designated the ["John] "Thomas A. Fox Memorial Bridge".

Sec. 19. Section 9 of public act 03-115 is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

A segment of Route [15] 115 through Derby, Ansonia and Seymour shall be designated as the ["Veteran's Memorial Highway"] "Veterans Memorial Highway".

Sec. 20. Subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of section 1 of public act 03-171 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) (1) No motor vehicle operator's license shall be issued to any applicant who is sixteen or seventeen years of age unless the applicant has held a learner's permit and has satisfied the requirements specified in this subsection. The applicant shall (A) present to the commissioner a certificate of the successful completion in a public secondary school, a state vocational school or a private secondary school of a full course of study in motor vehicle operation prepared as provided in section 14-36e or of training of similar nature provided by a licensed drivers' school approved by the commissioner, including, in each case, successful completion of not less than eight clock hours of behind-the-wheel, on-the-road instruction; (B) present to the commissioner a certificate of the successful completion of a course of not less than [five] eight hours relative to safe driving practices, including a minimum of [two] four hours on the nature and the medical, biological and physiological effects of alcohol and drugs and their impact on the operator of a motor vehicle, the dangers associated with the operation of a motor vehicle after the consumption of alcohol or drugs by the operator, the problems of alcohol and drug abuse and the penalties for alcohol and drug-related motor vehicle violations; and (C) pass an examination which shall include a comprehensive test as to knowledge of the laws concerning motor vehicles and the rules of the road and an on-the-road skills test as prescribed by the commissioner. At the time of application and examination for a motor vehicle operator's license, an applicant sixteen or seventeen years of age shall have held a learner's permit for not less than one hundred eighty days, except that an applicant who presents a certificate under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision shall have held a learner's permit for not less than one hundred twenty days and an applicant who is undergoing training and instruction by the handicapped driver training unit in accordance with the provisions of section 14-11b shall have held such permit for the period of time required by said unit. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall approve the content of the safe driving instruction at drivers' schools, high schools and other secondary schools. Such [five] eight hours of instruction [may] shall be included as part of or in addition to any existing instruction programs. Any fee charged for the course required under subparagraph (B) of this subdivision shall not exceed [forty dollars] an amount prescribed by the commissioner by regulation adopted in accordance with chapter 54. Any applicant sixteen or seventeen years of age who, while a resident of another state, completed the course required in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, but did not complete the safe driving course required in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, shall complete the safe driving course, and any fee charged for the course shall not exceed an amount prescribed by the commissioner by regulation adopted in accordance with chapter 54. The commissioner may waive any requirement in this subdivision, except for that in subparagraph (C) of this subdivision, in the case of an applicant sixteen or seventeen years of age who holds a valid motor vehicle operator's license issued by any other state, provided the commissioner is satisfied that the applicant has received training and instruction of a similar nature. (2) The commissioner may accept as evidence of sufficient training under subparagraph (A) of subdivision (1) of this subsection home training as evidenced by a written statement signed by the spouse of a married minor applicant, or by a parent, grandparent, foster parent or the legal guardian of an applicant which states that the applicant has obtained a learner's permit and has successfully completed a driving course taught by the person signing the statement, [and] that the signer has had an operator's license for at least four years preceding the date of the statement, and that the signer has not had such license suspended by the commissioner for at least four years preceding the date of the statement or, if the applicant has no spouse, parent, grandparent, foster parent or guardian so qualified and available to give the instruction, a statement signed by the applicant's stepparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, by blood or marriage, provided the person signing the statement is qualified. (3) If the commissioner requires a written test of any applicant under this section, the test shall be given in English or Spanish at the option of the applicant, provided the commissioner shall require that the applicant shall have sufficient understanding of English for the interpretation of traffic control signs. (4) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the purposes of this subsection concerning the content of safe driving instruction at drivers' schools, high schools and other secondary schools.

Sec. 21. Subsection (a) of section 14-227f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any person whose motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended under subsection (g) of section 14-227a for a conviction of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a) of said section or under section 14-227b for a second or subsequent time shall participate in a treatment program which includes an assessment of the degree of alcohol abuse and treatment, as appropriate, approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The commissioner shall not reinstate the operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of any such person until such person submits evidence to the commissioner that he has satisfactorily completed the treatment program.

Sec. 22. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 16 of public act 03-171 is repealed and the following and is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(1) For a period of three months after the date of issuance of such license, such person shall not transport more than one passenger, who shall be such person's parent or legal guardian, who holds a motor vehicle operator's license and is at least twenty-five years of age, [or] a driving instructor licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a person twenty years of age or older who has been licensed to operate, for at least four years preceding the time of being transported, a motor vehicle of the same class as the motor vehicle being operated and who has not had his or her motor vehicle operator's license suspended by the commissioner during such four-year period.

Sec. 23. (Effective from passage) Section 87 of public act 03-115 is repealed.

Approved July 9, 2003