291E-61.5 Habitually operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. (a) A person commits the offense of habitually operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant if:

(1) The person is a habitual operator of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant; and

(2) The person operates or assumes actual physical control of a vehicle:

(A) While under the influence of alcohol in an amount sufficient to impair the person's normal mental faculties or ability to care for the person and guard against casualty;

(B) While under the influence of any drug that impairs the person's ability to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner;

(C) With .08 or more grams of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath; or

(D) With .08 or more grams of alcohol per one hundred milliliters or cubic centimeters of blood.

(b) For the purposes of this section:

"Convicted three or more times for offenses of operating a vehicle under the influence" means that, at the time of the behavior for which the person is charged under this section, the person had three or more times within ten years of the instant offense:

(1) A judgment on a verdict or a finding of guilty, or a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, for a violation of this section or section 291-4, 291-4.4, or 291-7 as those sections were in effect on December 31, 2001, or section 291E-61 or 707-702.5;

(2) A judgment on a verdict or a finding of guilty, or a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, for an offense that is comparable to this section or section 291-4, 291-4.4, or 291-7 as those sections were in effect on December 31, 2001, or section 291E-61 or 707-702.5; or

(3) An adjudication of a minor for a law or probation violation that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a violation of this section or section 291-4, 291-4.4, or 291-7 as those sections were in effect on December 31, 2001, or section 291E-61 or 707-702.5;

that, at the time of the instant offense, had not been expunged by pardon, reversed, or set aside. All convictions that have been expunged by pardon, reversed, or set aside prior to the instant offense shall not be deemed prior convictions for the purposes of proving the person's status as a habitual operator of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.

A person has the status of a "habitual operator of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant" if the person has been convicted three or more times within ten years of the instant offense, for offenses of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant.

(c) Habitually operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant is a class C felony.

(d) For a conviction under this section, the sentence shall be either:

(1) An indeterminate term of imprisonment of five years; or

(2) A term of probation of five years, with conditions to include:

(A) Mandatory revocation of license and privilege to operate a vehicle for a period not less than one year but not more than five years;

(B) Not less than ten days imprisonment, of which at least forty-eight hours shall be served consecutively;

(C) Referral to a certified substance abuse counselor as provided in section 291E-61(d);

(D) A surcharge of $25 to be deposited into the neurotrauma special fund; and

(E) May be charged a surcharge of up to $50 to be deposited into the trauma system special fund if the court so orders.

In addition to the foregoing, any vehicle owned and operated by the person committing the offense shall be subject to forfeiture pursuant to chapter 712A, provided that the department of transportation shall provide storage for vehicles forfeited under this subsection.

(e) Whenever a court sentences a person under this section, it shall also require that the offender be referred to the driver's education program for an assessment, by a certified substance abuse counselor, of the offender's substance abuse or dependence and the need for appropriate treatment. The counselor shall submit a report with recommendations to the court. The court shall require the offender to obtain appropriate treatment if the counselor's assessment establishes the offender's substance abuse or dependence. All costs for assessment and treatment shall be borne by the offender.

(f) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, whenever a court revokes a person's driver's license pursuant to this section, the examiner of drivers shall not grant to the person a new driver's license until expiration of the period of revocation determined by the court. After the period of revocation is complete, the person may apply for and the examiner of drivers may grant to the person a new driver's license.

(g) Any person sentenced under this section may be ordered to reimburse the county for the cost of any blood or urine tests conducted pursuant to section 291E-11. The court shall order the person to make restitution in a lump sum, or in a series of prorated installments, to the police department or other agency incurring the expense of the blood or urine test.

(h) As used in this section, the term "examiner of drivers" has the same meaning as provided in section 286-2. [L 2003, c 71, 1; am L 2004, c 90, 13; am L 2005, c 194, 2; am L 2008, c 231, 18]

 

Case Notes

 

An appellate court's remand for entry of judgment of conviction and resentencing for a lesser-included offense must be based on a jurisdictionally valid lesser-included charge; where defendant's charge under this section did not adequately allege the lesser-included offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant as a first offender under 291E-61 because the charge failed to allege an essential element, specifically, the attendant circumstance that defendant operated a vehicle on a public road, way, street, or highway, the appellate court did not err in vacating and remanding circuit court case. 126 H. 475, 273 P.3d 1161 (2012).

Where, under 701-114(1)(a), proof of each element of an offense is required for a conviction, and the term "habitual" or "habitual operator" in the indictment did not convey the narrow definition that the person charged with habitually operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant had to have three or more convictions within the previous ten years, the phrase "habitual operator" did not provide adequate notice to defendant what the State was required to prove as an element of the offense; thus, defendant's conviction vacated. 128 H. 132 (App.), 284 P.3d 905 (2012).

 

 

Previous Vol05_Ch0261-0319 Next