Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

Amendment

 

February Session, 2008

LCO No. 4904

   
 

*SB0030104904SDO*

Offered by:

 

SEN. DEFRONZO, 6th Dist.

 

To: Senate Bill No. 301

File No. 81

Cal. No. 110

Strike everything after the enacting clause and substitute the following in lieu thereof:

"Section 1. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 14-227a of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2008):

(a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both. A person commits the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both if such person operates a motor vehicle (1) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, or (2) while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content. For the purposes of this section, "elevated blood alcohol content" means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, and "motor vehicle" includes a snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle, as those terms are defined in section 14-379, except that if such person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, "elevated blood alcohol content" means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, in any criminal prosecution for violation of subsection (a) of this section, evidence respecting the amount of alcohol or drug in the defendant's blood or urine at the time of the alleged offense, as shown by a chemical analysis of the defendant's breath, blood or urine shall be admissible and competent provided: (1) The defendant was afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of the test and consented to the taking of the test upon which such analysis is made; (2) a true copy of the report of the test result was mailed to or personally delivered to the defendant [within twenty-four hours or by the end of the next regular business day,] not later than three business days after such result was known; [, whichever is later; ] (3) the test was performed by or at the direction of a police officer according to methods and with equipment approved by the Department of Public Safety and was performed in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (d) of this section; (4) the device used for such test was checked for accuracy in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (d) of this section; (5) an additional chemical test of the same type was performed at least [thirty] ten minutes after the initial test was performed or, if requested by the police officer for reasonable cause, an additional chemical test of a different type was performed to detect the presence of a drug or drugs other than or in addition to alcohol, provided the results of the initial test shall not be inadmissible under this subsection if reasonable efforts were made to have such additional test performed in accordance with the conditions set forth in this subsection and such additional test was not performed or was not performed within a reasonable time, or the results of such additional test are not admissible for failure to meet a condition set forth in this subsection; and (6) evidence is presented that the test was commenced within two hours of operation. In any prosecution under this section it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the results of such chemical analysis establish the ratio of alcohol in the blood of the defendant at the time of the alleged offense, except that if the results of the additional test indicate that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such defendant is [twelve-hundredths] ten-hundredths of one per cent or less of alcohol, by weight, and is higher than the results of the first test, evidence shall be presented that demonstrates that the test results and the analysis thereof accurately indicate the blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged offense.

Sec. 2. Subsections (c) to (h), inclusive, of section 14-227b of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2008):

(c) If the person arrested refuses to submit to such test or analysis or submits to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, the police officer, acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, shall immediately revoke and take possession of the motor vehicle operator's license or, if such person is a nonresident, suspend the nonresident operating privilege of such person, for a twenty-four-hour period. The police officer shall prepare a [written] report of the incident and shall mail or otherwise transmit in accordance with this subsection the report and a copy of the results of any chemical test or analysis to the Department of Motor Vehicles within [three] five business days. The report shall [be made on a form approved] provide such information as prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement as provided in section 53a-157b by the arresting officer. If the person arrested refused to submit to such test or analysis, the report shall be endorsed by a third person who witnessed such refusal. The report shall set forth the grounds for the officer's belief that there was probable cause to arrest such person for [operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both] a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a, as amended by this act, and shall state that such person had refused to submit to such test or analysis when requested by such police officer to do so or that such person submitted to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may accept a police report under this subsection that is prepared and transmitted as an electronic record, including electronic signature or signatures, in accordance with the provisions of sections 1-266 to 1-286, inclusive, and subject to such security procedures as the commissioner may prescribe.

(d) If the person arrested submits to a blood or urine test at the request of the police officer, and the specimen requires laboratory analysis in order to obtain the test results, the police officer shall not take possession of the motor vehicle operator's license of such person or, except as provided in this subsection, follow the procedures subsequent to taking possession of the operator's license as set forth in subsection (c) of this section. If the test results indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, the police officer, immediately upon receipt of the test results, shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and submit to the commissioner the [written] report required pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(e) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may suspend any operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person effective as of a date certain, which date shall be not later than thirty days after the date such person received notice of such person's arrest by the police officer. Any person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision shall automatically be entitled to a hearing before the commissioner to be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 and prior to the effective date of the suspension. The commissioner shall send a suspension notice to such person informing such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended as of a date certain and that such person is entitled to a hearing prior to the effective date of the suspension and may schedule such hearing by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than seven days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice.

(2) If the person arrested (A) is involved in an accident resulting in a fatality, or (B) has previously had such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended under the provisions of section 14-227a, as amended by this act, during the ten-year period preceding the present arrest, upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may suspend any operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person effective as of the date specified in a notice of such suspension to such person. Any person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision shall automatically be entitled to a hearing before the commissioner to be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. The commissioner shall send a suspension notice to such person informing such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended as of the date specified in such suspension notice, and that such person is entitled to a hearing and may schedule such hearing by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than seven days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice. Any suspension issued under this subdivision shall remain in effect until such suspension is affirmed or such operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is reinstated in accordance with subsections (f) and (h) of this section.

(f) If such person does not contact the department to schedule a hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section.

(g) If such person contacts the department to schedule a hearing, the department shall assign a date, time and place for the hearing, which date shall be prior to the effective date of the suspension, except that, with respect to a person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of this section, such hearing shall be scheduled not later than thirty days after such person contacts the department. At the request of such person or the hearing officer and upon a showing of good cause, the commissioner may grant one [continuance for a period not to exceed fifteen days] or more continuances. The hearing shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Did the police officer have probable cause to arrest the person for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both; (2) was such person placed under arrest; (3) did such person refuse to submit to such test or analysis or did such person submit to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content; and (4) was such person operating the motor vehicle. In the hearing, the results of the test or analysis shall be sufficient to indicate the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person at the time of operation, except that if the results of the additional test indicate that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person is [twelve-hundredths] ten-hundredths of one per cent or less of alcohol, by weight, and is higher than the results of the first test, evidence shall be presented that demonstrates that the test results and analysis thereof accurately indicate the blood alcohol content at the time of operation. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided by the general statutes for witnesses in criminal cases.

(h) If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any one of the said issues in the negative, the commissioner shall reinstate such license or operating privilege. If, after such hearing, the commissioner does not find on any one of the said issues in the negative or if such person fails to appear at such hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section. The commissioner shall render a decision at the conclusion of such hearing or send a notice of the decision by bulk certified mail to such person not later than [thirty] sixty days [or, if a continuance is granted, not later than forty-five days] from the date such person received notice of such person's arrest by the police officer. The notice of such decision sent by bulk certified mail to the address of such person as shown by the records of the commissioner shall be sufficient notice to such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is reinstated or suspended, as the case may be. [Unless a continuance of the hearing is granted pursuant to subsection (g) of this section, if the commissioner fails to render a decision within thirty days from the date such person received notice of such person's arrest by the police officer, the commissioner shall reinstate such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege, provided notwithstanding such reinstatement the commissioner may render a decision not later than two days thereafter suspending such operator's license or nonresident operating privilege. ]

Sec. 3. Subsection (k) of section 14-227b of the general statutes, as amended by section 34 of public act 08-1 of the January 2008 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2008):

(k) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) to (j), inclusive, of this section, any police officer who obtains the results of a chemical analysis of a blood sample taken from an operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident who suffered or allegedly suffered physical injury in such accident, or who was determined by a police officer to require treatment or observation at a hospital, shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and submit to the commissioner a written report if such results indicate that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, and if such person was arrested for violation of section 14-227a, as amended by this act, in connection with such accident. The report shall be made on a form approved by the commissioner containing such information as the commissioner prescribes, and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement, as provided in section 53a-157b, by the police officer. The commissioner may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, which shall be conducted by a hearing officer on behalf of the commissioner, in accordance with chapter 54, suspend the motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section. Each hearing conducted under this subsection shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Whether the police officer had probable cause to arrest the person for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug or both; (2) whether such person was placed under arrest; (3) whether such person was operating the motor vehicle; (4) whether the results of the analysis of the blood of such person indicate that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content; and (5) whether the blood sample was obtained in accordance with conditions for admissibility and competence as evidence as set forth in subsection [(j)] (k) of section 14-227a, as amended by this act. If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any one of the said issues in the negative, the commissioner shall not impose a suspension. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided by the general statutes for witnesses in criminal cases, as provided in section 52-260.

Sec. 4. Subsection (o) of section 14-227b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2008):

(o) For the purposes of this section, "elevated blood alcohol content" means (1) a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, (2) if such person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or [(2)] (3) if such person is under twenty-one years of age, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is two-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) (a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Alcoholic beverage" has the same meaning as provided in section 30-1 of the general statutes;

(2) "Highway" has the same meaning as provided in section 14-1 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes;

(3) "Open alcoholic beverage container" means a bottle, can or other receptacle that (A) contains any amount of an alcoholic beverage, and (B) (i) is open or has a broken seal, or (ii) the contents of which are partially removed;

(4) "Passenger" means any occupant of a motor vehicle other than the operator; and

(5) "Passenger area" means (A) the area designed to seat the operator of and any passenger in a motor vehicle while such vehicle is being operated on a highway, or (B) any area of a motor vehicle that is readily accessible to such operator or passenger; except that, in a motor vehicle not equipped with a trunk, "passenger area" does not include a locked glove compartment, the area behind the last upright seat closest to the rear of the motor vehicle or an area not normally occupied by the operator of or passengers in such motor vehicle.

(b) No person shall possess an open alcoholic beverage container within the passenger area of a motor vehicle while such motor vehicle is on any highway or highway right-of-way in this state.

(c) The provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to: (1) Any passenger in a motor vehicle designed, maintained and primarily used for the transportation of persons for hire; (2) any passenger in the living quarters of a recreational vehicle, as defined in section 14-1 of the 2008 supplement to the general statutes; (3) any passenger in a privately-owned motor vehicle operated by a person in the course of such person's usual employment transporting passengers at the direction of such person's employer; or (4) any passenger in a passenger motor vehicle, if one of such passengers is the owner or lessee of such vehicle and can establish, by means including, but not limited to, a receipt for payment made to the operator, that such operator has been hired by such owner or lessee to operate such vehicle.

(d) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall commit an infraction and be fined ninety dollars for a first violation, be fined two hundred dollars for a second violation and be fined five hundred dollars for any subsequent violation. "

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2008

14-227a(a) and (b)

Sec. 2

July 1, 2008

14-227b(c) to (h)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2008

14-227b(k)

Sec. 4

July 1, 2008

14-227b(o)

Sec. 5

October 1, 2008

New section