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          Substitute House Bill No. 7056
          Substitute House Bill No. 7056

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-291


AN  ACT  CONCERNING   PERSISTENT  DRUNKEN  DRIVING
OFFENDERS,  EVADING  RESPONSIBILITY  IN  ACCIDENTS
CAUSING  SERIOUS  PHYSICAL  INJURY  OR  DEATH  AND
OPERATING  A  MOTOR   VEHICLE   WITH  A  SUSPENDED
OPERATOR'S LICENSE.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW)  (a)  A  persistent operating
while under the  influence  felony  offender  is a
person who (1)  stands convicted of a violation of
section 53a-56b or 53a-60d of the general statutes
and  (2) has,  prior  to  the  commission  of  the
present crime and  within the preceding ten years,
been convicted of  a  violation of section 53a-56b
or 53a-60d of  the  general statutes or subsection
(a) of section  14-227a of the general statutes or
been convicted in  any  other  state of an offense
the essential elements  of which are substantially
the  same  as   section   53a-56b  or  53a-60d  or
subsection (a) of  section  14-227a of the general
statutes.
    (b) When any  person  has  been  found to be a
persistent  operating while  under  the  influence
felony offender, and  the  court is of the opinion
that his history  and character and the nature and
circumstances  of his  criminal  conduct  indicate
that extended incarceration  will  best  serve the
public interest, the  court,  in  lieu of imposing
the sentence authorized  by section 53a-35a of the
general  statutes for  the  crime  of  which  such
person presently stands  convicted, may impose the
sentence  of  imprisonment   authorized   by  said
section  for  the  next  more  serious  degree  of
felony.
    Sec. 2. (NEW) Any police officer who arrests a
person  for  a  violation  of  subsection  (a)  of
section 14-227a of the general statutes during the
period such person's  operator's  license or right
to operate a  motor vehicle in this state is under
suspension or revocation  shall  cause  the  motor
vehicle such person  was  operating at the time of
the  offense to  be  impounded  for  a  period  of
forty-eight hours after  such arrest. The owner of
such motor vehicle  may reclaim such motor vehicle
after  the  expiration  of  such  forty-eight-hour
period upon payment  of  all  towing  and  storage
costs.
    Sec. 3. Section 14-224 of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    (a) Each person  operating a motor vehicle who
is knowingly involved  in an accident which causes
serious physical injury,  as  defined  in  section
53a-3, to or  results  in  the  death of any other
person  shall  at   once   stop  and  render  such
assistance as may  be  needed  and  shall give his
name, address and  operator's  license  number and
registration number to  the  person  injured or to
any officer or  witness  to  the  death or serious
physical  injury  of   any  person,  and  if  such
operator of the motor vehicle causing the death or
serious physical injury of any person is unable to
give  his name,  address  and  operator's  license
number  and  registration  number  to  the  person
injured or to  any  witness  or  officer,  for any
reason or cause,  such  operator shall immediately
report such death  or  serious  physical injury of
any person to  a  police  officer,  a constable, a
state police officer  or  an  inspector  of  motor
vehicles or at  the  nearest  police  precinct  or
station,  and  shall  state  in  such  report  the
location and circumstances of the accident causing
the death or serious physical injury of any person
and his name,  address,  operator's license number
and registration number.
    (b) Each person  operating a motor vehicle who
is knowingly involved  in an accident which causes
physical injury, as  defined  in section 53a-3, to
any other person  or  injury or damage to property
shall at once  stop  and render such assistance as
may be needed and shall give his name, address and
operator's license number  and registration number
to the person  injured  or  to  the  owner  of the
injured or damaged  property, or to any officer or
witness to the physical injury to person or injury
or damage to property, and if such operator of the
motor vehicle causing  the  physical injury of any
person or injury  or  damage  to  any  property is
unable to give  his  name,  address and operator's
license  number and  registration  number  to  the
person  injured  or  the  owner  of  the  property
injured or damaged,  or to any witness or officer,
for  any reason  or  cause,  such  operator  shall
immediately report such  physical  injury  of  any
person or injury or damage to property to a police
officer, a constable, a state police officer or an
inspector of motor  vehicles  or  at  the  nearest
police precinct or  station,  and  shall  state in
such report the  location and circumstances of the
accident causing the physical injury of any person
or the injury  or damage to property and his name,
address,    operator's    license    number    and
registration number.
    (c) No person  shall  operate  a motor vehicle
upon any public  highway  for  a  wager or for any
race or for the purpose of making a speed record.
    (d) Each person  operating a motor vehicle who
is knowingly involved  in an accident on a limited
access highway which  causes  damage  to  property
only shall immediately  move  or  cause  his motor
vehicle to be  moved  from the traveled portion of
the  highway  to   an  untraveled  area  which  is
adjacent to the accident site if it is possible to
move the motor  vehicle  without  risk  of further
damage to property or injury to any person.
    (e) No person  who acts in accordance with the
provisions of subsection  (d)  of this section may
be considered to  have  violated subsection (b) of
this section.
    (f) Any person  who violates the provisions of
subsection (a) of  this section shall be fined not
more  than  [five]  TEN  thousand  dollars  or  be
imprisoned not less  than  one  year nor more than
[five] TEN years or be both fined and imprisoned.
    (g) Any person  who violates the provisions of
subsection (b) or  (c)  of  this  section shall be
fined not less  than seventy-five dollars nor more
than six hundred dollars or be imprisoned not more
than one year or be both fined and imprisoned, and
for any subsequent offense shall be fined not less
than  one  hundred   dollars  nor  more  than  one
thousand dollars or  imprisoned  not more than one
year or be both fined and imprisoned.
    Sec. 4. Subsection  (c)  of  section 14-215 of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (c) Any person  who operates any motor vehicle
during the period  his operator's license or right
to operate a  motor vehicle in this state is under
suspension or revocation on account of a violation
of subsection (a)  of  section  14-227a or section
53a-56b or 53a-60d or pursuant to section 14-227b,
shall be fined  not less than five hundred dollars
nor more than  one thousand dollars and imprisoned
not more than one year, AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY
MITIGATING  CIRCUMSTANCES  AS  DETERMINED  BY  THE
COURT,  thirty consecutive  days  of  [which]  THE
SENTENCE IMPOSED may  not  be suspended or reduced
in any manner.  THE COURT SHALL SPECIFICALLY STATE
IN  WRITING  FOR   THE   RECORD   THE   MITIGATING
CIRCUMSTANCES, OR THE ABSENCE THEREOF.
    Sec. 5. This  act  shall  take effect from its
passage, except that  sections  1 to 3, inclusive,
shall take effect October 1, 1997.

Approved July 8, 1997