senate Bill S1348
(D) 18th Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Relates to the distribution of certain mandatory surcharges imposed for alcohol-related traffic convictions.
- See Assembly Version of this Bill:
- Legislative Cycle:
- Senate Finance
- Law Section:
- Vehicle and Traffic Law
- Laws Affected:
- Amd §§1197, 1803, 1809-c & 1809-e, V & T L; amd §60.35, Pen L
- Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the penal law, in relation to
distribution of certain mandatory surcharges imposed for alcohol-related
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
To provide for the necessary direction and
adequate funding for the successful implementation of the ignition
interlock provisions of Chapter 496 of the Laws of 2009 ("Leandra's
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
(1) Amends subdivision 1 of §1197 and
subdivision 9 of 1803 of the vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) to direct
fines imposed for the traffic offenses of "driving outside the terms
of a conditional license" and "circumventing a required ignition
interlock device" to the STOP-DWI Program in the county of the
violation -- making these offenses consistent with all other
alcohol-related provisions of the VTL.
(2) Amends subdivision 5 of VTL §1197 to add "implementation of the
ignition interlock program as set forth in VTL §1198" to the
functions and funding responsibilities of the County STOP-DWI
(3) Amends VTL §§ 1809-c and 1809-e to direct that mandatory
surcharges be imposed for the traffic offenses of "driving outside
the terms of a conditional license" and "circumventing a required
ignition interlock device" making these offenses consistent with all
other alcohol-related provisions of the VTL.
(4) Amends VTL §§ 1809-C and 1809-e to direct that mandatory
surcharges imposed and collected under both of these provisions be
directed to the STOP-DWI Program in the county where the offense
(5) Amends subdivision 3 of §60.35 of the penal Law to conform the
fine and surcharge collection process consistent with the intent of
Chapter 496 of the Laws of 2009, also known as
Leandra's Law, requires inter alia that the sentence for all persons
convicted of driving while intoxicated include a period of probation
or conditional discharge, a condition of which shall include the
installation of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles owned or
operated by such person, for the period of probation (at least 3
years) or conditional discharge, but not less than six months. This
provision takes effect on August 15, 2010.
As a result of this law, 25,000 people annually will be sentenced
pursuant to this requirement. In seeking to implement this law, the
Probation and Correctional Alternatives has promulgated an emergency
rule that essentially orders the counties to develop a program to
implement the massive and recurring requirements associated with
compliance, tracking and monitoring those subject to conditional
discharge. However, it provides no funding for either these tasks,
nor for the 12,000+ new probationers likely to exist as a result of
this statute. Actually, it would appear that the 2012-2011 Budget
will, instead, reduce state funding for Probation services by another
10% this year.
Thus, the counties are currently faced with a combination of a
seriously unfunded mandate and the requirement that they develop an
entirely new program pursuant to the new rule.
This measure resolves both of these problems as well as a third. Over
the years, the State has added a series of mandatory surcharges to
alcohol related offenses strictly for budget relief, in total
ignorance of sound criminal justice policy and to the immediate
financial detriment of the county STOP-DWI Programs that rely
exclusively upon the fines imposed for alcohol-related offenses.
This bill would address all three issues. First, it utilizes the
county STOP-DWI program and its existing statutory funding mechanism
to fully realize the ignition interlock program rather than force
counties to develop an entirely new -- and unfunded -- process.
Second, it establishes a recurring revenue stream to provide the
counties with the necessary funding to implement the expansive new
ignition interlock program and maintain it going forward. It does so
by redirecting the surcharges collected under VTL sections
1809-c($25) and 1809-e($170) from the General Fund to the local
STOP-DWI Program. Third, it helps reinforce the local option STOP-DWI
Programs that collectively have made New York a national model for
addressing the challenges presented by the drunk driver, but have
recently seen their revenue streams reduced out of expediency for
quick-fix State budget relief.
In order for this program to work, there must be confidence in the
ability for counties to implement and maintain it. The unintended
consequences of this act can surely undermine the Legislature's
intent and leave the program in shambles. At least 25 counties have
already asked for a two-year moratorium on the new law until a
funding stream has been established.
Furthermore, it is obvious that the mischief that can arise from the
suddenly overwhelmed local courts could result in thousands of new
offenders sent to an already overburdened probation system or,
thousands of persons who should be convicted of DWI, being allowed to
plead to the traffic offense of DWAI -both for the purposes of
expediency, and neither consistent with the intent New York's
commitment to eradicate drunk driving. This bill presents an
opportunity to have the new law implemented in a manner that reflects
the Legislature's intent when it was enacted.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.7951/A.11374A - Passed Senate 2010
Approximately $6.8 million in mandatory
surcharges will be redirected from the General Fund to the counties
based upon the county of conviction.
This act shall take effect immediately, provided,
however, the provisions of section one, three, four and five shall
take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law, and
provided further, however, that section six shall take effect on the
first day of April, 2011.
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