Report Title:

Traffic Fines; Judiciary Programs

Description:

Establishes a problem solving courts special fund for various treatment programs as directed by the chief justice of the judiciary. Directs $ in fiscal years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 from uncontested fines, forfeitures, assessments, and penalties for traffic infractions to the judiciary computer system special fund, and deposits the excess uncontested fines, forfeitures, assessments, and penalties for traffic infractions, grants, donations, and other funding sources into the problem solving courts special fund. (SB635 HD1)

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

635

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to traffic fines.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that persons abusing alcohol or drugs not only contribute to crime in Hawaii, but also affect highway safety. In 1999, four-thousand-forty-nine drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or a combination of alcohol and other drugs. In that same year, six-hundred-seventy-two traffic accidents were caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, and thirty-two fatalities were attributed to impaired drivers. In 2000, three-thousand-eight-hundred-twenty-two drivers were arrested for driving under the influence, and five-hundred-fifty-two accidents were attributed to impaired drivers. In 2001 and 2002, three-thousand-four-hundred-ninety-five and three-thousand-six-hundred-ninety drivers respectively were arrested for driving under the influence.

The legislature further finds that, although traffic laws with penalties of license revocations, fines, and terms of imprisonment penalties were enacted in 2000, the number of persons driving under the influence of intoxicants has not noticeably declined. Fluctuations in the number of persons arrested for driving under the influence can be attributed to the allocation of police resources for highway patrol and road checkpoints.

The legislature further finds that certain inmates addicted to drugs or alcohol require treatment while incarcerated in order to reenter society free of substance dependency. Treatment programs benefit not only the person participating in the treatment program, but the State also benefits from a public safety standpoint.

This Act establishes the problem solving courts special fund to be used to fund various treatment programs within the judiciary. The problem solving courts special fund shall be funded, in part, through payment of uncontested traffic fines, forfeitures, assessments, and penalties. This funding mechanism is particularly appropriate because of the interface between the community and the justice system. The problem solving courts are designed to address the root causes of criminal behavior, enhance respect for the rules of law and contribute to safety on public roads.

In addition to funding the problem solving courts program, uncontested traffic fines, forfeitures, assessments and penalties will fund, in part, for the next two fiscal years, the judiciary information management system (JIMS). The Judiciary is on the threshold of implementing a significant improvement to the administration of traffic citations. The JIMS will streamline many court functions, enhance public access to the courts, and facilitate coordination among law enforcement agencies. The first phase of the project involves the processing of traffic cases. Hence, it is appropriate that funding for this improvement in the administration of justice come from court users and their payments of uncontested fines, forfeitures, assessments, and penalties.

SECTION 2. Chapter 601, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"601-    Problem solving courts special fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury a special fund to be known as the problem solving courts special fund. The purpose of the special fund is to establish a cooperative financing mechanism to provide support for a broad range of problem solving courts including juvenile drug courts, family drug courts, adult drug courts, and mental health courts. Moneys collected from:

(1) Uncontested fines, forfeitures, assessments, and penalties collected pursuant to section 291C-171;

(2) Grants;

(3) Donations; and

(4) Other sources,

shall be deposited into the fund.

(b) The moneys in the fund shall be used and expended as directed by the chief justice of the supreme court for, among other purposes:

(1) The administration of problem solving courts;

(2) Programs to provide addiction and mental health treatment services for parties appearing before problem solving courts;

(3) Training and education for court staff to identify and assess parties appearing before problem solving courts; and

(4) Research, evaluation, and data management related to rehabilitation and treatment for addiction and mental illness.

(c) Moneys in the problem solving courts special fund shall not revert to the general fund."

SECTION 3. Section 291C-171, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"291C-171 Disposition of fines and forfeitures. (a) All uncontested fines and forfeitures collected upon conviction or upon the forfeiture of bail of any person charged with a violation of any section or provision of the state traffic laws and all assessments, including penalties imposed pursuant to subsection (b), collected relating to the commission of traffic infractions shall be [paid to the director of finance of the State.]deposited in the problem solving court special fund established by section 601- , except as follows:

(1) In fiscal year 2003-2004, an amount not to exceed $------, shall be deposited into the judiciary computer system special fund established by section 601-3.7; and

(2) In fiscal year 2004-2005, an amount not to exceed $------, shall be deposited into the judiciary computer system special fund established by section 601-3.7.

All adjudicated fines collected upon conviction of any person charged with a violation of any section or provision of the state traffic laws, and all assessments, including penalties imposed pursuant to subsection (b), collected relating to the commission of traffic infractions shall be paid to the director of finance.

(b) In addition to any monetary assessment imposed for a traffic infraction, the court may impose penalties on all outstanding traffic citations and judgments. The penalties shall be established pursuant to rules approved by the supreme court; provided that the amounts of the penalties shall be based upon a graduated scale that increases in proportion to the length of the delinquency. Any interest penalty imposed as provided in this section may be waived by the court for good cause. All penalties collected for [such] outstanding traffic citations and judgments shall be [paid to the director of finance of the State.] distributed pursuant to subsection (a)."

SECTION 4. Section 601-3.7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

601-3.7 Judiciary computer system special fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury a special fund to be known as the judiciary computer system special fund. Moneys collected [from administrative fees] pursuant to section 287-3(a) and section 291C-171(a)(1) and (2) shall be deposited into the fund.

(b) The fund shall be used for:

(1) Consulting and other related fees and expenses in the selection, implementation, programming, and subsequent upgrades in judiciary computer system for a statewide computer system; and

(2) The purchase of hardware and related software for a judiciary computer system.

(c) The fund may be used for other expenses relating to new technology in traffic enforcement and civil, criminal, and appellate case processing and management, including operations and maintenance.

(d) Moneys in the judiciary computer system special fund shall not revert to the general fund.

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the problem solving courts special fund the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004, and the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005 to carry out the purposes of this Act. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the judiciary for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the judiciary computer system special fund the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004, and the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005 to carry out the purposes of this Act. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the judiciary for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.