OLR Bill Analysis

SB 20

AN ACT CONCERNING CARRYING A FIREARM WHILE INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.

SUMMARY:

This bill lowers, from .10% to .08%, the blood alcohol content (BAC) level that triggers a presumptive violation of the law's prohibition on carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It thereby conforms this provision to the BAC level that triggers a presumptive violation of state and federal driving under the influence (DUI) laws.

The bill also makes three changes pertaining to hunting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while impaired by alcohol. First, it eliminates the offense of hunting while impaired by alcohol, which under current law is hunting with a BAC of more than .07% but under .10%. Second, it lowers, from .10% to .08%, the BAC level that triggers a presumptive violation of the law's prohibition on hunting while under the influence. In doing so, the bill increases from .07% to .08% the BAC level that triggers a presumptive violation by someone previously convicted of hunting under the influence. Third, the bill sets a new and lower BAC threshold of .02% for anyone under age 21. This conforms this provision to the BAC level that triggers a presumptive violation of the state DUI law for drivers under age 21 (CGS 14-227g).

By law, carrying a firearm while under the influence is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a prison term of up to six months, a fine of up to $ 1,000, or both. Hunting while under the influence is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a prison term of up to one year, a fine of up to $ 2,000, or both. The energy and environmental protection commissioner may indefinitely suspend the hunting license of a person convicted of hunting while intoxicated (CGS 53a-217e (h)).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

25

Nay

0

(03/10/2016)