Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124
04/13/2016 03:15 PM House LABOR & COMMERCE
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SB 165-ALCOHOL: BOARD;MINORS;MARIJUANA CHECKS 4:26:10 PM CHAIR OLSON announced that the next order of business would be CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 165(JUD) am, "An Act relating to the presence of minors in the licensed premises of manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of alcoholic beverages; relating to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board; relating to background checks for persons applying to operate marijuana establishments; relating to the offense of minor consuming; relating to revocation of a driver's license for a minor consuming offense; relating to the effect of the revocation of a driver's license for a minor consuming offense on a motor vehicle liability insurance policy; and amending Rule 17, Alaska Rules of Minor Offense Procedure." 4:26:39 PM The committee took a brief at ease. 4:28:04 PM SENATOR PETER MICCICHE, Alaska State Legislature, informed the committee CSSB 165(JUD)am brings a healthy and reasonable balance of representation to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABCB), Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office, Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development, and decriminalizes youth alcohol possession and consumption offenses. The bill is the product of an ongoing, multiyear, modernization process for Title 4, Alaska's statutes that govern the regulation and control of alcoholic beverages. Since 2012, the work has been facilitated by a diverse group seeking to reform alcohol laws such as those pertaining to licenses, and the role of ABCB; other issues will be addressed in the future. The current bill changes one seat of the ABCB structure, and removes damaging obstacles placed into the lives of young people under the current minor consuming alcohol (MCA) laws. Senator Micciche said minors are now subject to guilt by association resulting in a posting of offenses on Courtview, the loss of driving privileges, and the loss of motor vehicle insurance, all of which severs ties with institutions needed for success such as jobs, education, and family. He stressed that minor consuming deserves a swift and certain violation and imposition of a $500 fine, but not jury trials, prosecution, public defender time, and court costs. Additionally, MCA offenses should not garner the loss of driving privileges; in fact, driving under the influence is "a whole different crime, it's not minor consuming." Stakeholders have identified the value of rehabilitation over punishment for young people who are still forming their values and behavioral patterns. Senator Micciche advised that the bill restores under-21 alcohol status offenses to true violations, removes criminal penalties, and establishes a fine of $500, which may be reduced by the court to $50 under certain conditions. The bill also provides that such violations may not be published on Courtview - which has caused many youth to be denied employment and scholarship opportunities - and clarifies that youth may work or play on golf courses where alcohol is served, under certain conditions. Finally, CSSB 165(JUD)am requires background checks for persons applying to operate marijuana establishments. Senator Micciche listed many supporters of the proposed legislation, including the Alaska Peace Officers Association. 4:33:27 PM CHUCK KOPP, Staff, Senator Peter Micciche, paraphrased from the following sectional analysis [original punctuation provided]: Section 1 - Repeals and reenacts AS 04.06.020, relating to the appointment, reappointment and qualifications of members of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board; and establishing definitions. Section 2 - In AS 04.06.030, Terms of office; chair - changes "chairman" to "chair". Section 3 - In AS 04.06.050, Meetings - changes "chairman" to "chair". Section 4 - Amends AS 04.16.049(a), relating to access by minors to licensed premises; adds a reference to 04.11.110 permitting access to club premises by a person under 21 years of age if no alcoholic beverages are present or if the person has an active duty military card; changes "age of 21 years" to "21 years of age" to conform to current drafting style, and; identifies circumstances under which minors may be employed on licensed premises. Section 5 - Amends AS 04.16.049(b), changing "age of 21 years" to "21 years of age" to conform to current drafting style. Section 6 - Amends AS 04.16.049(c), allowing juveniles, 16 & 17 years of age, to be employed on golf course licensed premises as long as they have written consent of guardian or parent, and an exemption granted by the Department of Labor. Section 7 - Amends AS 04.16.049(d), to allow minors, 18 - 20 years of age, to be employed within the licensed premises of a golf course as long as they do not sell, serve, deliver, or dispense alcoholic beverages. Section 8 - Adds a new subsection (g) to AS 04.16.049 to permit access by minors to golf courses for the purpose of playing golf. Adds new subsections making unauthorized presence by a minor on licensed premises a violation, punishable by a fine of $500, which must be charged and filed with the court as a separate case. The fine may be reduced by a court to $50 if the minor supplies proof of completion of an alcohol safety action program or a community diversion panel. Section 9 - Repeals and reenacts AS 04.16.050 to make minor consuming a violation, punishable by a fine of $500, which must be charged and filed with the court as a separate case. The fine may be reduced by a court to $50 if the minor supplies proof of completion of an alcohol safety action program or a community diversion panel. Section 10 - Modifies the required language for warning signs on licensed or designated premises in AS 04.21.065(b). Section 11 - Adds a new provision in 04.21.078 barring the court system from publishing on a publicly available website the record of a violation of AS 04.16.049 or 04.16.050, or a similar municipal ordinance, if the violation was charged separately and was not joined with another minor offense or criminal charge. Section 12 - Amends 04.21.080(b) Definitions, add definition for "community diversion panel." Section 13 - Amends AS 12.62.400(a) National criminal history record checks for employment, licensing, and other noncriminal justice purposes authorizing Department of Public Safety to obtain a criminal history record check of a person applying for a license to operate a marijuana establishment, as is currently required for alcohol beverage licensees. Section 14 - Amends 17.38.200(a) requiring applicants for registration to operate marijuana establishments to submit to a criminal history record check. Section 15 Amends AS 21.36.210(a) Limits on cancellation, to remove a reference to AS 21.96.027 due to repeal and reenactment of AS 04.16.050. Section 16 - Amends AS 28.15.057(a) Restrictions on driver's license issued to person under 18, to reflect the repeal and reenactment of AS 04.16.050. Section 17 - Amends AS 28.15.191(a) Court and parole board reports to department removes court requirement to forward to DMV a record of a minor consuming alcohol violation conviction within five working days. Section 18 - Amends AS 28.15.211(g) removes reference to DMV not issuing or reissuing a driver's license to a person whose license was revoked for an offense under 04.16.050. Section 19 - Amends the uncodified law of the State of Alaska, adding a new section describing a Direct Court Rule Amendment to Rule 17(a), Alaska Rules of Minor Offense Procedure, providing an exception to when a prosecutor may join a minor offense with a related criminal offense. Section 20 - Amends the uncodified law of the State of Alaska, adding a new subsection (g) to Rule 17, Alaska Rules of Minor Offense Procedure, providing that a prosecutor may not join a minor offense for a violation of AS04.16.049 or AS 04.16.050 with a related criminal offense. Section 21 - Repeals various sections that have to do with denial, cancelation or non-renewal of insurance for minor consuming violations, court revocation of a driver's license for minor consuming alcohol, and Health & Social Services agreements under Delinquent Minor rules to revoke a driver's license for minor consuming alcohol offenses. Section 22 - Applicability provisions. Section 23 - Transition provisions relating to membership on the ABC Board 4:44:04 PM REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON directed attention to page 9, line 24 of the bill which read: (g) A prosecutor may not join a minor offense for a violation of AS 04.16.049 or 04.16.050 with a related criminal offense. REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON questioned whether the aforementioned subsection would allow the "system" to cite a minor for a violation but the citation would not be in the same case file. MR. KOPP explained that charging documents are referred to as the criminal intake disposition, on which the prosecutor lists all of the offenses committed. The bill requires that the prosecutor list a minor consuming alcohol charge on a separate document in order that the criminal offenses will be listed on Courtview, and the minor consuming alcohol charge will not. REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked whether it is currently a criminal offense if an 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old is caught consuming alcohol. MR. KOPP said no, that is a violation under current law. REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX inquired as to whether a youth could be charged with minor [consuming alcohol], if he/she was merely present. MR. KOPP said an average scenario may be a police officer walking into a room with minors present and there is alcohol; however, not everyone is consuming, so there is the possibility that many minors could be cited that were not consuming, and the citations would be posted on Courtview. REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked how police officers prove who was drinking. MR. KOPP advised that police officers conduct interviews, smell the alcohol, see the effects of impairment, and test for alcohol to determine who was actually drinking. REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES recalled that the legislature modeled the composition of the Marijuana Control Board (MCB) after the composition of the ABCB. She directed attention to page 2, lines 14 and 15 which read [in part]: .... A board member representing the general public may not be affiliated with the public safety sector or the public health sector. REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES noted that the bill changes members of the ABCB and she questioned prohibiting someone who has a public health background from applying for the general public seat; in fact, it is important for someone with that insight to be on the board. 4:49:05 PM SENATOR MICCICHE explained that the concern of the industry was the possibility "that you could perhaps stack three active anti- industry people on the board." By affiliation, the language means someone who is currently in a profession linked to the public health sector. A member, and a rural member might have that background; however, this is an effort to balance the board with two industry members, and three potentially anti-industry members, in order to reach a fair compromise. REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES acknowledged that industry members seem to care about public health issues. She pointed out that most states do not have industry representation on their alcohol boards. She expressed her understanding that the executive director is cognizant of public health issues and stressed the importance of keeping public health issues before the board. SENATOR MICCICHE stated that CSSB 165(JUD)am represents about 10 percent of the work to be done in this effort, and his goal is to reach consensus and continue to work toward a common goal through compromise. REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES advised that her experience is that public health concerns in this regard are very great in parts of the state. She said she was disappointed to see the change. REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON inquired as to whether the liquor industry has opposed or supported the bill. SENATOR MICCICHE said there is support from the industry for the bill. REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON recalled from his experience as a prosecutor in Kotzebue, that a young person could be assessed with a lengthy suspension of his/her driving license. MR. KOPP confirmed that offenses can "stack" and extend the revocation of driving privileges for "a very long time." REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON asked, "Under the current law, does it compound, so that the third offense is worse than the second?" MR. KOPP said yes. In further response, he said the third offense is a misdemeanor and the revocation gets longer. In response to Chair Olson, he said more than 70 percent of minor consumers only offend once. REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX questioned whether minor consumers "age out" of the offense. She added that the bill is in alignment with other pending legislation. 4:55:52 PM REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES moved to adopt the proposed House committee substitute (HCS) for CSSB 165(JUD) am, Version 29- LS1384\E, Bruce, 4/13/16, as the working document. 4:56:08 PM CHAIR OLSON objected for discussion purposes. SENATOR MICCICHE stated his support for the proposed House committee substitute. 4:57:34 PM KONRAD JACKSON, Staff, Representative Kurt Olson, presented the proposed House committee substitute for CSSB 165(JUD)am, Version E. Version E makes two identical changes found on page 5, beginning on lines 3 and 22, which insert, after $50, the following: .... for a person who has not more than one previous violation or to $250 for a person who has two or more previous violations ... MR. JACKSON said the forgoing changes were suggested by a member of the committee, and increase the penalty for repeat or habitual offenders. 4:59:25 PM The committee took an at ease from 4:59 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 5:00:30 PM CHAIR OLSON opened public testimony. 5:00:55 PM DALE FOX, President/CEO, Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association (Alaska CHARR), expressed his organization's support for CSSB 165(JUD)am. He said the bill provides for a balanced Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, is a new attempt to fight underage drinking, allows those under 21 years of age to play golf at courses that are a licensed premise, and provides for marijuana background checks. Mr. Fox urged the committee to pass the bill. 5:02:15 PM GINNY ESPENSHADE, Director, Kenai Peninsula Youth Court, expressed her support for the bill. She said the bill ensures that current diversion programs remain an option for underage drinking offenses. In addition, Ms. Espenshade said she strongly supports the fact that said offenses will not appear on an online database which can interfere with opportunities for a young person's future such as employment, higher education, and military service. 5:04:04 PM CYNTHIA FRANKLIN, Director, Anchorage Office, Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office, Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development, said her staff and agency are in support of the bill. In response to an earlier question from Representative LeDoux, she said retail wholesalers are prohibited from serving on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board due to the three-tier system enacted following Prohibition, which is an attempt to recognize the power liquor wholesalers have and curb industry influence over the board. 5:05:44 PM CHAIR OLSON, after ascertaining that no one else wished to testify, closed public testimony, and the bill was held over.