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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.59

Introduced by Representatives Ancel of Calais and Helm of Castleton

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Crimes; weapons; intoxication

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to prohibit a person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs from hunting with a firearm.  The penalty structure is the same as that of driving while intoxicated.

AN ACT RELATING TO HUNTING WITH A FIREARM WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 4017 is added to read:

§ 4017.  HUNTING WITH A FIREARM WHILE INTOXICATED

(a)  No person shall carry on his or her person a firearm for the purpose of hunting if:

(1)  the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more;

(2)  the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; or

(3)  the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely using a firearm.

(b)  Possession of a valid hunting license shall have no bearing on a prosecution under this section.

(c)  A person who violates this section shall be punished as follows:

(1)  First offense.  A person convicted of violating this section shall be fined not more than $750.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

(2)  Second offense.  A person convicted of violating this section who has been convicted of another violation of this section shall be fined not more than $1,500.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.  At least 200 hours of community service shall be performed, or 60 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment shall be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised sentence, except that credit for a sentence of imprisonment may be received for time served in a residential alcohol facility pursuant to the sentence if the program is successfully completed.

(3)  Third or subsequent offense.  A person convicted of violating this section who has twice been convicted of violation of this section shall be fined not more than $2,500.00 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.  At least 400 hours of community service shall be performed, or 100 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment shall be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised sentence, except that credit for a sentence of imprisonment may be received for time served in a residential alcohol facility pursuant to the sentence if the program is successfully completed.

(4)  Death resulting.  If the death of any person results from a violation of this section, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.  The provisions of this subdivision do not limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter.

(5)  Injury resulting.  If serious bodily injury, as defined in subdivision 1021(2) of this title, results to any person other than the person in possession of the firearm, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.

(d)  Before sentencing a defendant under this section, the court may order that the defendant submit to an alcohol assessment screening.  The screening report may be considered at sentencing in the same manner as a presentence report.  At sentencing, the defendant may present relevant evidence, including the results of any independent alcohol assessment which was conducted at the person’s own expense.  Evidence regarding any such screening or an alcohol assessment performed at the expense of the defendant shall not be admissible for any other purpose without the defendant’s consent.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us