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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.816

Introduced by Representative Trombley of Grand Isle

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Motor vehicles; operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs   

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes the following changes related to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs:

(1)  The bill proposes to broaden the definition of “drug” for purposes of the prohibition on driving under the influence of a drug.

(2)  The bill proposes prohibiting operation of a vehicle while under the influence of a drug to the slightest degree.  Current law prohibits operation while under the influence to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely. 

(3)  The bill prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle if the person has any detectable amount of any of the following drugs in his or her blood:

(A)  Cocaine or any of its metabolites;

(B)  Methamphetamine;

(C)  3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine;

(D)  Bufotenine;

(E)  Lysergic acid diethylamide;

(F)  Mescaline, in any form, including mescaline contained in peyote, obtained from peyote, or chemically synthesized;

(G)  Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, gamma-butyrolactone, and

1,4-butanediol;

(H)  Opium and substances derived from opium, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium or substances derived from opium;

(I)  Heroin;

(J)  Psilocybin; or

(K)  Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

(4)  With respect to the drugs in (3), the bill also:

(A)  requires a health care provider who is providing health services to a person in an emergency room as the result of a motor vehicle accident to report to a law enforcement agency if the provider becomes aware that the person has any detectable amount of one of the listed drugs in his or her system; and

(B)  establishes a civil suspension for operating a vehicle with any detectable amount of one of the listed drugs in his or her blood.

(5)  The bill provides that a law enforcement officer’s affidavit in support of a civil suspension is sufficient if it states that the person’s alcohol concentration was 0.08 or more at the time the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of the vehicle. 

AN ACT RELATING TO OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS

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

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 1200 is amended to read:

§ 1200.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter,:

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(2)  “Drug” means regulated drug as defined in section 4201 of Title 18:

(A)  a substance recognized as a drug in the official United States Pharmacopoeia, the official Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, or the official National Formulary, or in any supplement of any of them;

(B)  a substance intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans or animals;

(C)  a substance, other than food, intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of humans or animals; or

(D)  a substance intended for use as a component of any substance specified in subdivision (A), (B), or (C) of this subdivision (2).

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Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1201 is amended to read:

§ 1201.  OPERATING VEHICLE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF

              INTOXICATING LIQUOR OR OTHER SUBSTANCE; CRIMINAL

              REFUSAL

(a)  A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway:

(1)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more, or 0.02 or more if the person is operating a school bus as defined in subdivision 4(34) of this title; or

(2)  when the person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to the slightest degree; or

(3)  when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a the slightest degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely; or

(4)  when the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more if the person is operating a commercial motor vehicle as defined in subdivision 4103(4) of this title; or

(5)  when the person has any detectable amount of any of the following drugs in his or her blood:

(A)  Cocaine or any of its metabolites;

(B)  Methamphetamine;

(C)  3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine;

(D)  Bufotenine;

(E)  Lysergic acid diethylamide;

(F)  Mescaline, in any form, including mescaline contained in peyote, obtained from peyote, or chemically synthesized;

(G)  Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, gamma-butyrolactone, and

1,4-butanediol;

(H)  Opium and substances derived from opium, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium or substances derived from opium;

(I)  Heroin;

(J)  Psilocybin; or

(K)  Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

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(c)  A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway and be involved in an accident or collision resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another and refuse a law enforcement officer's reasonable request under the circumstances for an evidentiary test where the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has any amount of alcohol or drugs in the system.

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Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 1203b is amended to read:

§ 1203b.  DUTY TO REPORT BLOOD TEST RESULTS

(a)  Notwithstanding any law or court rule to the contrary, if a health care provider who is providing health services to a person in the emergency room of a health care facility as a result of a motor vehicle accident becomes aware as a result of any blood test performed in the health care facility that the person’s blood alcohol level meets or exceeds the level prohibited by law, or that the person has in his or her blood any detectable amount of a drug listed in subdivision 1201(a)(5) of this title, the health care provider shall report that fact, as soon as is reasonably possible, to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the location where the accident occurred.

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Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 1205 is amended to read:

§ 1205.  CIVIL SUSPENSION; SUMMARY PROCEDURE

(a)  Refusal; alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more; suspension periods.

(1)  Upon affidavit of a law enforcement officer that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title and that the person refused to submit to a test, the commissioner shall suspend the person’s operating license, or nonresident operating privilege, or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of six months and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title.

(2)  Upon The commissioner shall suspend a person’s operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of 90 days and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title upon affidavit of a law enforcement officer that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title and that the person:

(A)  submitted to a test and the test results indicated that the person’s alcohol concentration was 0.08 or more at the time of operating, attempting to operate or being in actual physical control, the commissioner shall suspend the person’s operating license, or nonresident operating privilege, or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of 90 days and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title; or

(B)  the person had in his or her blood any detectable amount of a drug listed in subdivision 1201(a)(5) of this title

(b)  Form of officer’s affidavit.  A law enforcement officer’s affidavit in support of a suspension under this section shall be in a standardized form for use throughout the state and shall be sufficient if it contains the following statements:

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(5)(5)(A)  The person refused to submit to an evidentiary test;

(B)  The person had in his or her blood any detectable amount of a drug listed in subdivision 1201(a)(5) of this title; or

(C)  The officer obtained an evidentiary test (noting the time and date the test was taken) and:

(i)  the test indicated that, at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title, the person’s alcohol concentration was 0.08 or more, or the person refused to submit to an evidentiary test; and

(ii)(I)  the test was obtained within two hours of the time the person was operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of the vehicle; or

(II)  a chemist or other qualified expert states that the person’s alcohol concentration was 0.08 or more at the time the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of the vehicle.

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Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us