Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 254

    February Session, 2016

Senate Bill No. 20

Senate, March 29, 2016

The Committee on Public Safety and Security reported through SEN. LARSON of the 3rd Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the bill ought to pass.

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

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

Section 1. Section 53-206d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) (1) No person shall carry a pistol, revolver, machine gun, shotgun, rifle or other firearm, which is loaded and from which a shot may be discharged, upon his person (A) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, or (B) while the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person is [ten-hundredths] eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this subsection shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(b) (1) No person shall engage in hunting while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both. [, or while impaired by the consumption of intoxicating liquor.] A person shall be deemed under the influence when at the time of the alleged offense the person (A) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, or (B) has an elevated blood alcohol content. For the purposes of this subdivision, "elevated blood alcohol content" means (i) a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is [ten-hundredths] eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or (ii) if such person [has been convicted of a violation of this subsection, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is seven-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight. A person shall be deemed impaired when at the time of the alleged offense the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was more than seven-hundredths of one per cent of alcohol, by weight, but less than ten-hundredths of one per cent of alcohol, by weight] 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.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this subsection shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(3) Enforcement officers of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are empowered to arrest for a violation of the provisions of this subsection.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2016

53-206d

PS

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Resources of the General Fund

GF - Potential Revenue Gain

Minimal

Minimal

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill lowers the blood alcohol content allowable while carrying a loaded firearm and results in a potential revenue gain from criminal fines by increasing the number of potential violators. In FY 15, 93 charges resulted in one conviction with a fine of $350 and all other cases received a plea bargain or were dismissed.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

Sources:

Judicial Department Offenses and Revenue Database

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)

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