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ACT NO. 117



This act:

(1) Creates the position of Coordinator of Alcohol Traffic Programs with the following responsibilities:

** Monitor and coordinate all state, county and municipal DUI programs.

** Develop a comprehensive plan for a statewide DUI enforcement program.

** Study DUI issues and make legislative recommendation.

** Compile DUI-related data.

** Establish an interagency workgroup to coordinate state agencies involved in

DUI-related issues.

(2) Reduces the size of a beer "keg" from 7.5 gallons to 5 gallons, requires proof of identification in order to buy a beer keg, and makes it a crime to intentionally remove or deface the label attached to a beer keg.

(3) Amends the crime of sale to minors by including furnishing and knowingly enabling consumption, increasing the penalty to not less than a $500.00 and not more than a $2,000.00 fine and/or imprisonment for up to two years. If an illegal sale results in death or serious bodily injury, the penalty is imprisonment for up to five years and/or a $10,000.00 fine.

(4) Requires the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to prepare a monthly list of all persons whose license is suspended or revoked. The list shall be available to law enforcement officers electronically.

(5) Adds mandatory performance of community service to the penalty for driving with a suspended license (DLS) after a DUI conviction.

(6) Increases the fine for drinking while driving to $500.00.

(7) Amends the definition of "vehicle" to include all-terrain vehicles.

(8) For the purpose of DUI, excludes a driveway which serves a single-family or two-family residence of the operator. The exception does not apply if an operator on a driveway causes property damage, death or bodily injury.

(9) Requires emergency room medical staff to report to law enforcement a blood test of an operator who is involved in an accident if the test meets orexceeds the level prohibited by law.

(10) A person who is charged with DUI must surrender his or her license to the officer and is given a temporary license that is good for only 11 days. A preliminary hearing on the suspension must occur within 21 days of the alleged offense and a final hearing must occur within 42 days of the alleged offense.

(11) Requires CRASH for a second DUI and for a second and subsequent offense requires enrollment in a therapy program within 30 days of suspension. Failure to enroll may result in court action.

(12) Authorizes the court, at the time of sentencing, to order immobilization of a vehicle operated by a person at the time of a second or subsequent DUI or DLS after a DUI. The court may order forfeiture of the vehicle for a third or subsequent DUI or DLS after a DUI.

(13) Adds a $50.00 surcharge to DUI, DLS and a number of other motor vehicle offenses. These surcharges go into a special fund to pay for increased DUI enforcement.

(14) Requires state officials to study the advisability and feasibility of creating a special DUI-drug offense docket within the district court.

(15) Eliminates the two-hour time limit for an arrest for DUI and the limitation on the purpose of detention. Also allows an officer to lodge a repeat DUI offender.

(16) Increases mandatory automobile liability insurance from $20,000/$40,000 to $25,000/$50,000 and mandatory uninsured motorist coverage from $20,000/$40,000 to $50,000/$100,000.

(17) Requires persons convicted of DUI to maintain automobile liability insurance, which may not be canceled except with 15 days' notice to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

(18) Within 30 days of receipt of a written request, automobile liability insurance companies must provide to claimants the names of the insurer and insured and the limits of the insurance coverage.

(19) Provides for fair apportionment of expenses in certain uninsured motorist subrogation cases.

(20) Adds 16 new Vermont State Police troopers in the next two years and requires the State Police to use those new troopers to increase its enforcement of DUI laws.

(21) Provides funds to municipal and county law enforcement agencies for a coordinated, statewide, DUI enforcement program.

Effective Date: The DUI in a driveway section (8 above) and the required insurance for persons convicted of DUI section (17 above) are effective on passage April 29, 1998; the automobile insurance sections (16 above) are effective on January 1, 1999; and the remaining sections are effective on July 1, 1998.