CSAO: Transportation Committee - February 28, 2014

TESTIMONY OF THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

IN SUPPORT OF:

H.B. NO. 5290: AN ACT REVISING MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS

JOINT COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
February 28, 2014

The Division of Criminal Justice respectfully recommends the Committee’s Joint Favorable SUBSTITUTE Report for H.B. No. 5290, An Act Revising Motor Vehicle Laws. The Division would respectfully recommend the Committee amend this legislation to reflect the revisions to the laws governing the possession of marijuana specifically as they apply to young drivers.

Despite the general confidentiality of juvenile records, General Statutes Section 46b-124(k) currently requires the juvenile court to disclose to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) juvenile records “containing information that a child has been convicted as delinquent” for a violation of the statutes listed in that subsection, so that the DMV can determine “whether administrative sanctions regarding such child’s motor vehicle operator’s license are warranted.”

Missing from this list – presumably as the result of an oversight – are violations of Section 21a-267(d), possession of drug paraphernalia for use with under one-half ounce of marijuana and Section 21a-279a, possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana, both of which, pursuant to Section 14-111e, are subject to DMV administrative sanctions for persons under the age of 21.

Similarly, convictions for violating Section 14-227a and Section 14-227g, operating under the influence of alcohol, should be added to the list of those offenses for which the DMV may impose licensing sanctions. The case of a 16- or 17-year-old charged with these offenses would be handled in the adult court and resulting information provided to the DMV for administrative sanctions, while the case of a person under the age of 16 charged with such offenses would be heard in the juvenile court with no information provided to the DMV.  The Division believes those offenders under age 16 should be subject to the same administrative sanctions as those age 16 or older, both in the interests of fair treatment and the promotion of public safety. We must send a strong message that driving under the influence is wrong regardless of the age of the offender.

In both cases – marijuana possession related offenses and DUI by those under age 21 - Section 14-111e provides for license suspension or, if in the case of an individual who has not yet obtained a license, deeming the individual ineligible to obtain a license for a specified time. 

Accordingly, the Division would recommend the following amendment:

Subsection (k) of section 46b-124 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(k) Records of cases of juvenile matters involving delinquency proceedings, or any part thereof, containing information that a child has been convicted as delinquent for a violation of subdivision (e) of section 1-1h, subsection (c) of section 14-147, subsection (a) of section 14-215, section 14-222, subsection (b) of section 14-223, subsection (a), (b) or (c) of section 14-224, section 14-227a, section 14-227g, subsection (d) of section 21a-267, section 21a-279a, section 30-88a or subsection (b) of section 30-89, shall be disclosed to the Department of Motor Vehicles for administrative use in determining whether administrative sanctions regarding such child’s motor vehicle operator’s license are warranted. Records disclosed pursuant to this subsection shall not be further disclosed.

In conclusion, the Division wishes to thank the Committee for this opportunity to provide input on H.B. No. 5290. We would be happy to provide any additional information the Committee might require or to answer any questions you might have. Thank you.



Content Last Modified on 2/28/2014 11:41:18 AM