PA 16-152—SB 20

Public Safety and Security Committee

Judiciary Committee

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

SUMMARY: This act 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 drugs or alcohol. The . 08% level is the same threshold as for state and federal driving under the influence (DUI) laws.

The act also makes three changes pertaining to hunting while impaired by alcohol or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. First, it eliminates the offense of hunting while impaired by alcohol, which, under prior law, was 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, it increases from . 07% to . 08% the BAC level that triggers a presumptive violation by someone previously convicted of hunting under the influence or while impaired.

Third, the act sets a new and lower BAC threshold of . 02% for anyone under age 21, conforming this provision to the BAC level that triggers a presumptive violation of the state's DUI law for drivers under age 21 (CGS 14-227g).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

Carrying a Firearm While Under the Influence

By law, carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a class B misdemeanor, and hunting while under the influence is a class A misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties). The energy and environmental protection commissioner may indefinitely suspend the hunting license of a person convicted of hunting while under the influence (CGS 53a-217e (h)).

OLR Tracking: VR; SD; PF; cmg