Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

02/11/2010 01:00 PM House JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:07:36 PM Start
01:08:52 PM Overview(s): Security Breach of Personal Information of State Employees and State Retirees
02:10:17 PM HB283
03:03:19 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Security Breach of Personal TELECONFERENCED
Information of Alaska State Employees
and State Retirees
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            HB 283 - PURCHASE/CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL                                                                        
2:10:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 283, "An  Act relating  to the purchasing  of and                                                               
restrictions concerning alcoholic beverages."                                                                                   
2:10:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRY CRAWFORD,  Alaska State Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of  HB 283,  disclosed  that upon  coming out  of  church on  the                                                               
evening of  December 24,  2004, his  wife was  hit by  a [repeat]                                                               
drunk driver, and his son was  missed by just inches.  His focus,                                                               
he relayed,  has since  been [to work  on legislation  that would                                                               
help]  prevent   such  a  tragedy   from  happening   to  others.                                                               
Obviously, punishment is  not enough - there  are still thousands                                                               
of  drunk drivers  on  the road  every  day.   As  the result  of                                                               
existing law,  there are now  2,133 marked driver's  licenses and                                                               
State  identification  (ID)  cards  carried by  people  who  have                                                               
proven they  can't handle  alcohol, and  existing law  provides a                                                               
monetary incentive  for alcoholic  beverage licensees to  check a                                                               
customer's  driver's license  or ID  card.   House  Bill 283  [in                                                               
part]  would amend  current law  by raising  the civil  fine that                                                               
could be awarded  to licensees, from $1,000 to  $2,000.  Included                                                               
in members' packets  is a draft letter of intent  stating that it                                                               
is the  legislature's intent that  half of that civil  fine award                                                               
be  shared  with  the  licensee's  employees  and/or  agents  who                                                               
confiscate the ID card or  driver's license of someone prohibited                                                               
from purchasing alcohol.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD  noted  that  Brown  Jug,  Inc.  ("Brown                                                               
Jug"), just one liquor store out  of many, as a matter of course,                                                               
confiscates  the  driver's  licenses  and ID  cards  of  underage                                                               
persons  attempting  to  purchase   alcohol,  and  has  collected                                                               
approximately  $2 million  in civil  fines since  the civil  fine                                                               
provision  has been  in  effect.   He  said  he  would like  more                                                               
licensees to  start checking  and confiscating  driver's licenses                                                               
and  ID cards  from  all  who are  precluded  from purchasing  or                                                               
consuming alcohol.   House Bill 283 would also add  - to the list                                                               
of those  who could  be prohibited  from consuming  or purchasing                                                               
alcohol -  [under proposed AS  12.55.015(a)(13)(A), a  person who                                                               
is  convicted of  a  felony and  the  behavior was  substantially                                                               
influenced  by  consumption of  alcohol,  or,  under proposed  AS                                                               
12.55.015(a)(13)(B),  is  convicted  of  a  third  or  subsequent                                                               
crime,  even if  it's a  misdemeanor crime,  and the  court finds                                                               
that prohibiting  him/her from consuming alcohol  is necessary to                                                               
protect the  public].  Under the  bill, the court would  have the                                                               
discretion  to order  such a  prohibition,  but it  would not  be                                                               
mandated to  do so, and any  such person would then  have his/her                                                               
driver's license or  State ID card marked to  reflect that he/she                                                               
is prohibited from consuming or purchasing alcohol.                                                                             
2:16:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  RAMRAS   expressed  interest   in  dealing   with  chronic                                                               
inebriates, and  in requiring -  perhaps via an amendment  - that                                                               
the driver's license or State ID  card of [a person under the age                                                               
of 21]  be marked so  as to draw attention  to the fact  that the                                                               
person is [under the age  of 21], thereby perhaps stopping people                                                               
who've reached the age of 21  from continuing to use the driver's                                                               
license or  ID card they  got when they were  a minor to  go into                                                               
places that sell or serve alcohol.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD, on  the latter issue, said  he had tried                                                               
to  get an  amendment  included which  would  have required  that                                                               
State IDs  expire on a  person's 21st  birthday and that  they be                                                               
renewed  within  90 days,  but  the  drafter  said that  such  an                                                               
amendment to HB 283 wouldn't  comply with the single subject rule                                                               
and could thus engender litigation.   As a result, Representative                                                               
Crawford relayed,  he'd asked that  another bill be  drafted that                                                               
could include such a proposed change.                                                                                           
CHAIR  RAMRAS  referred  to a  proposed  amendment,  labeled  26-                                                               
LS1218\E.1, Luckhaupt, 2/3/10, which read:                                                                                      
     Page 3, line 22:                                                                                                           
          Delete "up to the lifetime of the defendant"                                                                      
CHAIR  RAMRAS indicated  that it  is his  understanding that  the                                                               
Cabaret Hotel  Restaurant & Retailer's Association  (CHARR) is in                                                               
favor of  this change to  proposed AS 12.55.015(a)(13).   If this                                                               
amendment were to be adopted,  the proposed statute would then in                                                               
part  read,  "order  the  defendant  to  refrain  from  consuming                                                           
alcoholic beverages  for a period  of time, including  during the                                                           
term of any  sentence and as a condition  of probation, suspended                                                           
sentence, and suspended imposition of sentence".                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE    CRAWFORD    indicated    that    proposed    AS                                                               
12.55.015(a)(13)  is   intended  to  address  those   people  who                                                               
continue to  get arrested as  the result of  alcohol consumption,                                                               
those who have proven they can't  handle alcohol.  He opined that                                                               
even if HB  283 only stops just one person  from abusing alcohol,                                                               
it  would  be  a  good  thing, and  offered  his  hope  that  the                                                               
committee would pass HB 283.                                                                                                    
[Chair Ramras turned the gavel over to Vice Chair Dahlstrom.]                                                                   
2:24:45 PM                                                                                                                    
WHITNEY  BREWSTER, Director,  Division of  Motor Vehicles  (DMV),                                                               
Department  of  Administration  (DOA),  explained  that  the  DMV                                                               
currently puts  what's called a  "J restriction" on  the driver's                                                               
licenses  and ID  cards of  individuals who  are restricted  from                                                               
purchasing alcohol as  a condition of sentencing.   Such driver's                                                               
licenses and  ID cards have  the words "alcohol restricted"  in a                                                               
red banner across  the top.  In conclusion, she  relayed that the                                                               
DMV is supportive of HB 283.                                                                                                    
[Vice Chair Dahlstrom returned the gavel to Chair Ramras.]                                                                      
MS. BREWSTER, in  response to comments and  a question, explained                                                               
that although under  current law, a driver's  license does expire                                                               
90 days  after a person's  21st birthday, that law  doesn't apply                                                               
to ID  cards.  From the  DMV's perspective, it would  be ideal if                                                               
ID cards  were treated  similarly.   Enforcement, however,  is an                                                               
issue for the licensees themselves  to address be refusing access                                                               
to their  establishments by those with  expired driver's licenses                                                               
and ID cards.                                                                                                                   
The committee took an at-ease from 2:29 p.m. to 2:34 p.m.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD, in  response to  a question,  explained                                                               
that the existing $1,000 fine  provided for in AS 04.16.047(b) is                                                               
a civil fine,  and offered his understanding that  Brown Jug, for                                                               
example, "settles  it all  up at  one time  during the  year" and                                                               
then  shares a  portion  of  the fines  with  the employees  that                                                               
confiscated the driver's  licenses and ID cards.   He then showed                                                               
members a couple of examples of restricted licenses.                                                                            
CHAIR  RAMRAS questioned  whether the  DMV has  the authority  to                                                               
change  what  is printed  in  the  aforementioned red  banner  on                                                               
restricted  licenses.   Could the  DMV,  perhaps via  regulation,                                                               
have that  red banner indicate that  the person is under  the age                                                               
of 21 until a certain date?                                                                                                     
MS. BREWSTER said she would have to research that issue further.                                                                
2:38:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RAMRAS  offered his understanding  that under  current law,                                                               
when the driver's  license of a person who reaches  the age of 21                                                               
expires,  he/she  is  required  to  take  [an  alcohol  and  drug                                                               
awareness  and  safety  examination]   prior  to  getting  a  new                                                               
driver's license.   He  indicated that he  would be  working with                                                               
the sponsor  of HB 283  to address  further [the issue  of people                                                               
using expired  driver's licenses and  State ID cards  to purchase                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD concurred.   In response to questions, he                                                               
offered  his understanding  that  for federal  tax purposes,  the                                                               
civil fines [licensees share with  employees] would be treated as                                                               
wages.   He  acknowledged that  it  can be  difficult to  collect                                                               
those fines,  and surmised  that that's one  of the  reasons that                                                               
Brown Jug "settles" [up with its  employees] just once a year and                                                               
then  only  with  regard  to   those  fines  that  were  actually                                                               
collected.   [Neither existing law  nor HB 283] outlines  how the                                                               
civil  fine  is  to  be   distributed;  that's  left  up  to  the                                                               
licensees.   In response  to a question,  he reiterated  that the                                                               
bill would  be increasing the  civil fine from $1,000  to $2,000,                                                               
and  noted  that  members'  packets include  a  draft  letter  of                                                               
intent, which reads [original punctuation provided]:                                                                            
     It  is  the  intent  of the  Alaska  Legislature  under                                                                    
     section  #2  of  HB  283 amending  AS  04.16.047(b)  to                                                                    
     increase  the  civil award  from  $1,000  to $2,000  to                                                                    
     enable licensees to share half  of the award with their                                                                    
     employees and  or agents.   The award is to  provide an                                                                    
     incentive  to those  who sell  alcohol  to check  ID's.                                                                    
     This should  aide in the  effort to prevent  people who                                                                    
     are restricted  from consuming alcohol  from purchasing                                                                    
CHAIR  RAMRAS expressed  interest in  receiving more  information                                                               
regarding the distribution of the civil fine.                                                                                   
2:43:49 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL GROSSI,  Staff, Representative Harry Crawford,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of the sponsor,  Representative Crawford,                                                               
indicated  that  the  driver's  license   or  ID  card  would  be                                                               
confiscated  by  the  licensee  or  his/her  employees  and  then                                                               
brought before  the court,  which would award  the civil  fine to                                                               
the licensee; that fine would be paid by the offender.                                                                          
CHAIR RAMRAS, remarking that the  aforementioned letter of intent                                                               
needs  to  be  reworded,  characterized   it  as  too  vague  and                                                               
burdensome on employers, expressing  concern that it could result                                                               
in employees filing claims demanding  payment of their portion of                                                               
the fine  from their employers,  the licensees.  The  civil fine,                                                               
currently something that benefits  licensees when awarded, would,                                                               
under the letter  of intent, become a liability  for licensees as                                                               
employers.  He  questioned how the State would  collect the fine,                                                               
how it would be distributed, and  what happens if it isn't shared                                                               
with employees, and  suggested that further testimony  - from the                                                               
administration and Brown Jug, for example - is warranted.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  CRAWFORD offered  his belief  that the  letter of                                                               
intent  won't  create a  legal  expectation  by the  employee  to                                                               
receive  a portion  of the  civil fine;  that the  licensee won't                                                               
have to share  any of the fine, regardless of  whether the person                                                               
is still in the licensee's employ;  and that the letter of intent                                                               
merely  indicates  that  it  is the  legislature's  wish  that  a                                                               
licensee share  the fine  with the  employee who  confiscated the                                                               
driver's license or ID card of  someone who wasn't supposed to be                                                               
buying  or  consuming  alcohol,  but  it is  not  required.    He                                                               
indicated that  although he is  unfamiliar with how  the awarding                                                               
and distribution  of the  fine is  accomplished now,  he surmised                                                               
that it would be the same for the  proposed fine as it is for the                                                               
current fine.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR RAMRAS indicated that he  would also like to hear testimony                                                               
from  the Alcoholic  Beverage Control  Board  ("ABC Board"),  and                                                               
noted that  as a licensee,  he, himself, hasn't ever  pursued the                                                               
civil fine.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CRAWFORD explained that  current law prohibits the                                                               
awarding of  the fine directly  to the  employee - the  fine must                                                               
instead be awarded  to the licensee.  In response  to a question,                                                               
he reiterated that this provision of  statute is meant to work as                                                               
an  incentive for  licensees to  check driver's  licenses and  ID                                                               
cards; currently, a number of  establishments in the state aren't                                                               
doing so.                                                                                                                       
2:52:53 PM                                                                                                                    
BONNIE  HAYES  relayed  that  she has  been  convicted  twice  of                                                               
driving under  the influence (DUI)  and has  a red banner  on her                                                               
driver's license.   The civil  fine isn't  really going to  be an                                                               
issue for  people like  her, she  predicted, because  rather than                                                               
show someone their restricted ID  and risk having it confiscated,                                                               
they'll just  walk out  of the establishment  if the  licensee or                                                               
employee asks  to see their  ID.  It's sufficient  that licensees                                                               
have this incentive  to check the driver's licenses  and ID cards                                                               
of those  seeking to purchase  alcohol, she opined, and  said she                                                               
views current law  regarding restricted licenses and  ID cards as                                                               
a wonderful  tool to  help her  stay sober,  adding that  for the                                                               
most part, it has worked.   If a person with a restricted license                                                               
or  ID card  is stopped  from  buying alcohol,  that person  will                                                               
essentially be  stopped from drinking  and driving, and so  it is                                                               
critical  that the  red  banner  be put  on  a person's  driver's                                                               
license or  ID card right away.   In response to  a question, she                                                               
indicated that  because $2,000  is a lot  of money,  the proposed                                                               
civil fine provides  people like her with  another huge incentive                                                               
to not purchase alcohol.                                                                                                        
2:59:30 PM                                                                                                                    
JERRY McCUTCHEON opined that HB  283 should be changed to mandate                                                               
that  everyone's  driver's license  or  ID  card be  examined  by                                                               
licensees  prior to  them selling  or providing  alcohol; without                                                               
such a requirement, HB 283 is  basically a "toothless tiger."  He                                                               
also indicated  his belief that  the people who have  been killed                                                               
by drunk  drivers would  be alive today  if [existing  Alaska law                                                               
regarding drunk driving] were more stringent.                                                                                   
CHAIR  RAMRAS expressed  favor with  the provisions  of the  bill                                                               
that  would add  more people  to  the list  of those  who may  be                                                               
ordered  by the  court to  refrain from  purchasing or  consuming                                                               
alcohol, but relayed  that he is not convinced  that the proposed                                                               
increase in  the civil fine  would do anything other  than double                                                               
the  amount of  money that  gets awarded  to licensees,  at least                                                               
those who  can afford to take  people to small claims  court.  He                                                               
again  opined  that the  letter  of  intent  would put  too  many                                                               
burdens  on  the  employer,  adding  that  he  is  not  convinced                                                               
doubling  the civil  fine would  provide any  more incentive  for                                                               
people to refrain from buying or consuming alcohol.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO indicated  that he  is questioning  whether                                                               
deleting  the  fine  altogether would  change  a  DUI  offender's                                                               
[HB 283 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB283 Ver E.pdf HJUD 2/11/2010 1:00:00 PM
HL&C 1/27/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 283
02 HB283 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 2/11/2010 1:00:00 PM
HL&C 1/27/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 283
03 HB283 Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 2/11/2010 1:00:00 PM
HL&C 1/27/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 283
04 HB283-DOA-DMV-01-26-10.pdf HJUD 2/11/2010 1:00:00 PM
HL&C 1/27/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 283
05 HB283-LAW-CRIM-01-26-10.pdf HJUD 2/11/2010 1:00:00 PM
HL&C 1/27/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 283
06 HB283-DHSS-ASAP-01-26-2010.pdf HJUD 2/11/2010 1:00:00 PM
HL&C 1/27/2010 3:15:00 PM
HB 283
07 HB283 APOA ltr of support.pdf HJUD 2/11/2010 1:00:00 PM
HB 283