STAND. COM. REP. NO.2766
RE: S.B. No. 2628
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2628, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE USE OF INTOXICANTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to clarify the State's "Driving Under the Influence" (DUI) laws.
Testimony in support of the measure was received from the Judiciary, Department of Transportation, Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney (Prosecutor), Honolulu Police Department, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Testimony in opposition was received from a private citizen. Comments were submitted by the Chief Adjudicator of the Office of Administrative Driver's License Revocation.
(1) Allows the combination of prior drug enforcement contacts with alcohol enforcement contacts when deeming a person a "repeat intoxicated driver";
(2) Requires that sworn statements of a law enforcement officer or other person be considered if the officer or person is absent from the administrative revocation hearing;
(3) Requires personal service upon a law enforcement officer to appear at an administrative revocation hearing or other person be made not later than forty-eight hours prior to the administrative revocation hearing;
(4) Establishes that the absence of a subpoenaed officer or person constitutes good cause for the continuance of an administrative revocation hearing;
(5) Clarifies that a person or minor who refuses to be tested for the presence of intoxicants at a traffic stop will not be issued a conditional permit to operate a motor vehicle; and
(6) Makes other amendments to facilitate the proper administration of the State's DUI law.
Your Committee finds that when housekeeping amendments were enacted in 2000, language which provided that arrestees who refused to take a blood or breath test were not eligible to receive a conditional permit was inadvertently deleted. This measure corrects that error as it was not the intent of the legislature to delete that provision.
Your Committee further finds that the original intent of the administrative revocation law was to create a fair, but primarily expeditious process to remove dangerous impaired drivers from the streets as soon as possible. Due to the evolution of the law through judicial review, the responsibility on law enforcement officials has expanded to the reading of an exhaustive litany of any and all possible consequences covering all possible scenarios related to the arrestee’s situation, including his or her driving history which may or may not be accurate or known to the police at the time of arrest. The original intent and purpose of the law needs to be revisited and clarified by the requested amendments.
This measure would allow the consideration of sworn statements in the absence of the law enforcement officer's presence at the administrative revocation hearing. The absence of police officer witnesses may be due to any number of legitimate reasons which may not be known to the hearing officer at time of hearing. Currently, the absence of a subpoenaed and served police officer at the hearing would cause a reversal upon judicial review, merely on the basis of the officer’s unexplained non-appearance at time of hearing. This measure remedies that deficiency in the proceedings.
Your Committee has amended this measure as follows:
(1) On the recommendation of the Office of Administrative Driver's License Revocation, to include a form statement relating to implied consent to be read to the arrestee; and
(2) Changing the effective date from October 1, 2002, to October 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussions.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2628, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2628, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
BRIAN KANNO, Chair