THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

641

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

H.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO INTOXICANTS.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that protecting public safety is a primary duty of government. Operating a vehicle while impaired is dangerous for the driver, passengers in the car, and all others that are on the road, and accordingly, the legislature has criminalized the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.

The legislature further finds that certain substances not listed in schedules I through IV of chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, like kava and certain muscle relaxants, can cause serious impairment of drivers, and that driving while under the impairment of one of these substances is not prohibited by law. In addition, the process of placing a drug or substance on the schedule of controlled substances does not respond quickly enough to emerging drugs. Synthetic drugs can be manufactured very rapidly and avoid law enforcement when they are created by changing the chemical composition of an existing drug. In this manner, synthetic drugs like "spice" and "bath salts" evade the scheduling process. In order to quickly adapt and prosecute offenders using new emerging drugs, law enforcement should not be forced to rely solely on the controlled substances schedules for certain offenses.

The purpose of this Act is to promote public safety and encourage safe driving by establishing the offense of operating a vehicle while impaired by a lesser intoxicant.

SECTION 2. Chapter 291E, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"291E-   Operating a vehicle while impaired by a lesser intoxicant. (a) A person commits the offense of operating a vehicle while impaired by a lesser intoxicant if the person operates or assumes actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired by a lesser intoxicant that demonstrably impairs the person's ability to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner.

(b) A person committing the offense of operating a vehicle while impaired by a lesser intoxicant shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

(c) Each law enforcement agency that investigates or arrests persons for violating this section shall collect, make public, and, on an annual basis, report to the legislature data on:

(1) The number of persons investigated for violating this section;

(2) The number of persons arrested for violating this section following an investigation;

(3) The number of persons arrested that take a blood or urine test to detect a lesser intoxicant;

(4) The number of blood or urine tests taken pursuant to paragraph (3) that detect the presence of a lesser intoxicant in the blood or urine;

(5) The number of blood or urine tests taken pursuant to paragraph (3) that do not detect the presence of a lesser intoxicant in the blood or urine; and

(6) A statistical breakdown of the types of lesser intoxicants detected in blood or urine tests taken by those arrested for violating this section.

(d) The criminal justice data center shall collect, make public, and, on an annual basis, report to the legislature the number of convictions for the offense of operating a vehicle while impaired by a lesser intoxicant.

(e) As used in this section, "lesser intoxicant" means any plant, medication, poison, natural or synthetic chemical, or any compound or combination of these, and includes but is not limited to central nervous system depressants, central nervous system stimulants, hallucinogens, dissociative anesthetics, narcotic analgesics, or inhalants. "Lesser intoxicant" does not include alcohol or any drug defined and enumerated in schedules I through IV of chapter 329."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050; provided that on June 30, 2022, this Act shall be repealed.



 

Report Title:

Operating a Vehicle While Impaired by a Lesser Intoxicant

 

Description:

Establishes the offense of operating a vehicle while impaired by a lesser intoxicant. Requires law enforcement and the Criminal Justice Data Center to collect, make public, and report on certain data relating to the offense. (SB641 HD2)

 

 

 

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