senate Bill S4106

Authorizes the suspension of driver's licenses for unjustified failure to attend court on charge of underage possession of alcohol or to comply with court conditions after conviction for such offense

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 08 / Mar / 2013
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 19 / Mar / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.250
  • 20 / Mar / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 21 / Mar / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Authorizes the suspension of driver's licenses for unjustified failure to attend court on charge of underage possession of alcohol or to comply with court conditions after conviction for such offense.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7692
Versions:
S4106
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§510 & 503, V & T L; amd §65-c, ABC L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4106

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the
alcoholic beverage control law, in relation to authorizing suspension
of driver's licenses for unjustified failure to attend court on charge
of underage possession of alcohol or comply with court conditions
after conviction for such offense

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of
the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her Local
Courts Advisory Committee.

This measure would amend the Vehicle and Traffic Law and the Alcoholic
Beverage Control Law, to authorize a court to suspend a driver's
license where the holder fails timely to appear before the court, pay
a fine, complete an alcohol awareness program or complete community
service associated with a charge of under-age possession of alcohol.

Years of judicial experience, and experience in the broader law
enforcement and child-welfare communities, demonstrates that a charge
of under-age possession of alcohol may be the first and best
opportunity to avert more serious and potentially life-threatening
alcohol-related offenses. When defendants less than age 21 are charged
with under-age possession of alcohol with intent to consume under
Alcoholic Beverage Control Law section 65-c, authorized sentences of
completing alcohol awareness programs and community service offer
potential judicial remedies to help deter drunk driving and other more
serious offenses.

Unfortunately, many of these defendants ignore their appearance
tickets or, if convicted, they ignore the very sentences calculated to
discourage more serious offenses. Under current law, however, there is
no practical redress: statute allows no other remedy besides contempt,
which is a resource-intensive path that may lead to incarceration
inapposite for these offenders. For that reason, underage defendants
flaunt the law: many do so precisely because they know there is no
negative consequence for ignoring the charge or sentence, which
compounds their disrespect for the law and encourages further
offenses. The Internet is rife with advice for teens that there is no
negative consequence for ignoring appearance tickets or court-imposed
penalties for underage drinking. Given these dynamics, it is little
surprise that in some courts, the scoff rate on underage alcohol
possession exceeds 30%. These dynamics particularly manifest after
proms, concerts, festivals and other large gatherings of teens, which
expose teens to not only alcohol but also the risk of drunk driving.
Without remedies for alcohol-possession violations, too often the
result is drunk driving, injuries and preventable deaths.

While fully cognizant that underage offenders are minors for whom our
law must take an especially measured approach, New York State must
address the perversion by which courts can do little or nothing when
persons charged with underage possession of alcohol fail to appear or
complete court-ordered sentences. Their impunity must stop not only to
inculcate respect for the law and the courts generally, but also to
help prevent more serious offenses and the risks to life that these
more serious offenses entail.


Accordingly, this measure would authorize courts to suspend driving
privileges for defendants charged with under-age possession of alcohol
with intent to consume under Alcoholic Beverage Control Law section
65-c, who either do not appear in court or who are convicted and fail
timely to satisfy their sentences. The suspension would be on the same
terms of notice and delayed implementation as other suspensions under
the Vehicle and Traffic Law. This limited approach, rather than
proposing to increase penalties or expose these defendants to
incarceration, seeks only to bring these defendants before the court
to answer charges and honor sentences that are calculated to educate
them and prevent potentially life-threatening behaviors. Because the
most effective tool for the underage offender is to suspend driving
privileges associated with the offender's maturity and independence,
that result is the only one this measure contemplates.

This measure represents an amended version of S.3188 and A.5722 of
2012. Those prior measures also would have applied the
license-suspension remedy to violations of Penal Law 221.05 (unlawful
possession of marijuana). The current measure, by contrast, focuses
exclusively on underage possession of alcohol with intent to consume.

This measure, which would have no fiscal impact on the State or any
locality, would take effect on the first day of January next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

Legislative History: None. New proposal.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4106

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 8, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  FUSCHILLO  --  (at  request of the Office of Court
  Administration) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to
  be committed to the Committee on Transportation

AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the  alcoholic  beverage
  control  law,  in  relation  to  authorizing  suspension  of  driver's
  licenses for unjustified failure to attend court on charge of underage
  possession of alcohol or comply with court conditions after conviction
  for such offense

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. Paragraph k of subdivision 3 of section 510 of the vehicle
and traffic law, as amended by chapter 124  of  the  laws  of  1992,  is
amended and a new subparagraph l is added to read as follows:
  k.  for a period of up to ninety days because of the conviction of the
holder of the offenses of menacing as defined in section 120.15  of  the
penal  law,  where such offense was committed against a traffic enforce-
ment agent employed by the city of New York or the city of Buffalo while
such agent was enforcing or attempting  to  enforce  the  traffic  regu-
lations of such city[.];
  L. FOR FAILING TO APPEAR BEFORE THE COURT OR PAY A FINE OR TO COMPLETE
AN  ALCOHOL  AWARENESS  PROGRAM OR COMPLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE IMPOSED BY
THE COURT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION SIXTY-FIVE-C  OF  THE
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL LAW.
  S  2.  Paragraph  (a) of subdivision 4-a of section 510 of the vehicle
and traffic law, as added by section 10 of part J of chapter 62  of  the
laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows:
  (a) Upon receipt of a court notification of the failure of a person to
appear  within sixty days of the return date or new subsequent adjourned
date, pursuant to an appearance  ticket  charging  said  person  with  a
violation of any of the provisions of this chapter (except one for park-
ing,  stopping,  or  standing),  of  any  violation of the tax law or OF

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09089-01-3

S. 4106                             2

SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION  SIXTY-FIVE-C  OF  THE  ALCOHOLIC  BEVERAGE
CONTROL  LAW  OR  of the transportation law regulating traffic or of any
lawful ordinance or regulation made by  a  local  or  public  authority,
relating  to  traffic (except one for parking, stopping, or standing) or
the failure to pay a fine imposed by a  court,  OR  IN  THE  CASE  OF  A
VIOLATION  OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION SIXTY-FIVE-C OF THE ALCOHOLIC
BEVERAGE CONTROL LAW, THE  FAILURE  TO  COMPLETE  AN  ALCOHOL  AWARENESS
PROGRAM OR COMPLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE IMPOSED BY THE COURT AS A SENTENCE
FOR SUCH VIOLATION, the commissioner or his or her agent may suspend the
driver's  license or privileges of such person pending receipt of notice
from the court that such person has appeared in response to such appear-
ance ticket or has paid such fine OR COMPLETED  SUCH  ALCOHOL  AWARENESS
PROGRAM  OR COMPLETED SUCH COMMUNITY SERVICE. Such suspension shall take
effect no less than thirty days from the day upon which  notice  thereof
is  sent  by  the  commissioner  to the person whose driver's license or
privileges are to be suspended. Any suspension issued pursuant  to  this
paragraph  shall  be  subject  to  the  provisions of paragraph (j-l) of
subdivision two of section five hundred three of this [chapter] TITLE.
  S 3. Subparagraph (i) of paragraph (j-1) of subdivision 2  of  section
503  of  the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by section 3 of part PP
of chapter 59 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  (i) When a license issued pursuant to this article, or a privilege  of
operating  a  motor  vehicle  or  of  obtaining such a license, has been
suspended based upon a failure to  answer  an  appearance  ticket  or  a
summons or failure to pay a fine, penalty or mandatory surcharge, pursu-
ant  to subdivision three of section two hundred twenty-six, subdivision
four of section two hundred twenty-seven[, subdivision four-a of section
five hundred ten] or subdivision five-a of section eighteen hundred nine
of this chapter, OR UPON A FAILURE TO ANSWER  AN  APPEARANCE  TICKET  OR
SUMMONS,  PAY  A FINE, COMPLETE AN ALCOHOL AWARENESS PROGRAM OR COMPLETE
COMMUNITY SERVICE IMPOSED BY A COURT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION  FOUR-A  OF
SECTION  FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE, such suspension shall remain in
effect until a termination of a suspension fee  of  seventy  dollars  is
paid  to  the  court  or  tribunal that initiated the suspension of such
license or privilege. In no event may the aggregate of the fees  imposed
by an individual court pursuant to this paragraph for the termination of
all  suspensions  that  may  be  terminated  as  a  result of a person's
answers, appearances or payments made in such cases pending before  such
individual  court  exceed four hundred dollars. For the purposes of this
paragraph, the various locations of the administrative  tribunal  estab-
lished  under article two-A of this chapter shall be considered an indi-
vidual court.
  S 4. Subdivision 3 of section 65-c of the alcoholic  beverage  control
law,  as  amended by chapter 137 of the laws of 2001, is amended to read
as follows:
  3. Any person who unlawfully  possesses  an  alcoholic  beverage  with
intent  to consume may be summoned before and examined by a court having
jurisdiction of that charge; provided, however, that  nothing  contained
herein shall authorize, or be construed to authorize, a peace officer as
defined  in  subdivision  thirty-three  of  section 1.20 of the criminal
procedure law or a police officer as defined in subdivision  thirty-four
of  section 1.20 of such law to arrest a person who unlawfully possesses
an alcoholic beverage with intent to consume. If a determination is made
sustaining such charge the court may impose a fine not  exceeding  fifty
dollars  and/or  completion  of an alcohol awareness program established
pursuant to section 19.25 of the mental hygiene law and/or an  appropri-

S. 4106                             3

ate amount of community service not to exceed thirty hours.  IN ADDITION
TO  ANY FINE, ALCOHOL AWARENESS PROGRAM AND/OR COMMUNITY SERVICE IMPOSED
BY THE COURT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, THE COURT MAY SUSPEND  THE  DRIV-
ER'S  LICENSE  OF ANY PERSON WHO FAILS TO APPEAR BEFORE THE COURT, PAY A
FINE, COMPLETE  AN  ALCOHOL  AWARENESS  PROGRAM  OR  COMPLETE  COMMUNITY
SERVICE  PURSUANT  TO THIS SECTION WITHIN THE PERIOD OF TIME ESTABLISHED
BY THE COURT. SUCH SUSPENSION SHALL BE MADE UPON NOTICE TO  SUCH  PERSON
AND SHALL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL SUCH PERSON APPEARS IN COURT, PAYS SUCH
FINE  OR COMPLETES SUCH PROGRAM OR COMMUNITY SERVICE TO THE SATISFACTION
OF THE COURT.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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