senate Bill S600A

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Defines the terms "impaired" and "intoxication" for the purposes of the vehicle and traffic law

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


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

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Actions

view actions (18)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 19, 2012 referred to transportation
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Jan 18, 2012 advanced to third reading
Jan 10, 2012 2nd report cal.
Jan 09, 2012 1st report cal.22
Jan 04, 2012 referred to transportation
returned to senate
died in assembly
May 03, 2011 referred to transportation
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Apr 11, 2011 amended on third reading 600a
Feb 01, 2011 advanced to third reading
Jan 31, 2011 2nd report cal.
Jan 25, 2011 1st report cal.22
Jan 19, 2011 reported and committed to codes
Jan 05, 2011 referred to transportation

Votes

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Jan 9, 2012 - Transportation committee Vote

S600A
18
0
committee
18
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show Transportation committee vote details

Jan 25, 2011 - Codes committee Vote

S600
13
1
committee
13
Aye
1
Nay
2
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Jan 19, 2011 - Transportation committee Vote

S600
18
1
committee
18
Aye
1
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S600 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A848A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Laws Affected:
Ren §119-b to be §119-c, add §§119-b & 120-a, amd §1192, V & T L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4777, A10917

S600 - Bill Texts

view summary

Defines the terms "impaired" and "intoxication" for the purposes of the vehicle and traffic law.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S600

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the definitions of
the terms "impaired" and "intoxication" for the purposes of such law

PURPOSE:
To codify accepted legal definitions and include alteration
of physical or mental abilities by known or unknown substances.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 119-b defines impaired in conformity with the language of the
New York State Court of Appeals ruling in People v. Cruz, 48 NY.2nd
419, (1979).

Section 120-a defines intoxication in conformity with the language of
the New York State Court of Appeals ruling in People v. Cruz, 48
N.Y.2nd 419, (1979) and expands such definition to encompass
situations described in the New York State Court of Appeals ruling in
People v. Litto, 8 N.Y.3rd 692, (2007).

JUSTIFICATION:
All too often, intoxicated drivers who are under the
influence of a substance that has not been placed upon the New York
Sate Public Health Law Schedule 3306 or a substance that cannot be
determined, escape prosecution. Clearly dangerous drivers can
frustrate the prosecution of their own acts by the simple
legislatively sanctioned expedient of refusing a chemical test of
their blood breath and urine. If the driver has no contraband and
makes no admissions, the intoxicating substance ingested will not be
known to law enforcement, a condition precedent to prosecution under
our current laws. Additionally, some clearly dangerous drivers who
ingest substances or combinations of substances not listed in the
Public Health Law may not be prosecuted under our current laws.

In January of 2004, after becoming intoxicated from ingesting an
aerosol spray can of "Dust-off', Vincent Litto veered into oncoming
traffic, killing 18-year-old Kristian Roggio Litto and injuring James
Sienna, and two others.

The defendant was indicted for the crimes of Manslaughter 2,
Vehicular Manslaughter 2, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Reckless
Endangerment 2, Reckless Driving, Operating a Motor Vehicle while in
an Intoxicated Condition; Assault 2 (4 counts); Assault 3 (4
counts). In June of 2007, the Court of Appeals of the State of New
York affirmed the dismissal of Vehicular Manslaughter 2 and
Operating a Motor Vehicle while in an Intoxicated Condition because
Difluoroethane, the chemical propellant in Dust-Off, is not among
substances listed in Public Health Law 3306.

Chief Judge Judith Kaye wrote that she is mindful that, with the
Court's ruling, there may be circumstances where impaired drivers can
avoid punishment under the law. "If defendant did what the
prosecution charges, then his conduct was reprehensible -- his
voluntary inhalation of hydrocarbon while driving resulted in the


death of a young woman and serious injuries to others," the chief
judge wrote. "Perhaps gaps exist in the law and the
prosecution should not have to rely on the 12 other counts charged.
However, a determination by this Court that intoxication in Vehicle
and Traffic Law section 1192(3) includes the use of any substance
would improperly override the legislative policy judgment."

There are numerous instances where individuals are arrested because
they were driving while they were dramatically intoxicated by a drug,
to the point of falling down and becoming unconscious but because
under the facts of each individual case, the substance was not
identified.

In response to this problem a number of states have enacted
legislation that allow for the prosecution of a driver who has
ingested intoxicating substances.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-10: Reported to Codes (S.4777/A.10917)
2008: Passed the Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the first day of
November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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

                                   600

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  FUSCHILLO, DIAZ, LARKIN -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Trans-
  portation

AN  ACT  to  amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the defi-
  nitions of the terms "impaired" and "intoxication" for the purposes of
  such law

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

  Section  1. Section 119-b of the vehicle and traffic law is renumbered
119-c and a new section 119-b is added to read as follows:
  S 119-B. IMPAIRED. IMPAIRMENT IS REACHED WHEN A DRIVER HAS VOLUNTARILY
CONSUMED OR INGESTED A SUBSTANCE OR COMBINATION  OF  SUBSTANCES  TO  THE
EXTENT  THAT  THE  DRIVER  HAS IMPAIRED, TO ANY EXTENT, THE PHYSICAL AND
MENTAL ABILITIES WHICH A DRIVER IS EXPECTED TO POSSESS IN ORDER TO OPER-
ATE A VEHICLE AS A REASONABLE AND PRUDENT DRIVER.
  S 2. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding  a  new  section
120-a to read as follows:
  S  120-A. INTOXICATION. INTOXICATION IS A GREATER DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT
WHICH IS REACHED WHEN A DRIVER HAS VOLUNTARILY CONSUMED  OR  INGESTED  A
SUBSTANCE  OR COMBINATION OF SUBSTANCES TO THE EXTENT THAT THE DRIVER IS
INCAPABLE OF EMPLOYING THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ABILITIES WHICH A  DRIVER
IS EXPECTED TO POSSESS IN ORDER TO OPERATE A VEHICLE AS A REASONABLE AND
PRUDENT DRIVER.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00099-01-1

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S600A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A848A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Laws Affected:
Ren §119-b to be §119-c, add §§119-b & 120-a, amd §1192, V & T L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S4777, A10917

S600A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Defines the terms "impaired" and "intoxication" for the purposes of the vehicle and traffic law.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S600A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the definitions of
the terms "impaired" and "intoxication" for the purposes of such law

PURPOSE:
To codify accepted legal definitions and include alteration
of physical or mental abilities by known or unknown substances.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 119-b defines impaired in conformity with the language of the
N ew York State Court of Appeals ruling in People v. Cruz, 48 NY.2nd
419, (1979).

Section 120-a defines intoxication in conformity with the language of
the New York State Court of Appeals ruling in People v. Cruz, 48
N.Y.2nd 419, (1979) and expands such definition to encompass
situations described in the New York State Court of Appeals ruling in
People v. Litto, 8 N.Y.3rd 692, (2007).

Adds a new subdivision 13 to section 1192 of the VTL providing an
affirmative defense for persons impaired by a substance a person
would not reasonably know to be an intoxicant.

JUSTIFICATION:
All too often, intoxicated drivers who are under the
influence of a substance that has not been placed upon the New York
Sate Public Health Law Schedule 3306 or a substance that cannot be
determined, escape prosecution. Clearly dangerous drivers can
frustrate the prosecution of their own acts by the simple
legislatively sanctioned expedient of refusing a chemical test
of their blood breath and urine. If the driver has no contraband and
makes no admissions, the intoxicating substance ingested will not be
known to law enforcement, a condition precedent to prosecution under
our current laws. Additionally, some clearly dangerous drivers who
ingest substances or combinations of substances not listed in the
Public Health Law may not be prosecuted under our current laws.

In January of 2004, after becoming intoxicated from ingesting an
aerosol spray can of "Dust-off', Vincent Litto veered into oncoming
traffic, killing 18-year-old Kristian Roggio Litto and injuring James
Sienna, and two others.

The defendant was indicted for the Crimes of Manslaughter 2 Degree,
Vehicular Manslaughter 2 Degree, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Reckless
Endangerment 2 Degree, Reckless Driving, Operating a Motor
Vehicle while in
an Intoxicated Condition; Assault 2 Degree (4 counts); Assault
3 Degree (4 counts). In June of 2007, the Court of Appeals
of the State of New
York affirmed the dismissal of Vehicular Manslaughter 2 Degree and
Operating a Motor Vehicle while in an Intoxicated Condition because
Difluoroethane, the chemical propellant in Dust-Off, is not among
substances listed in Public Health Law 3306.


Chief Judge Judith Kaye wrote that she is mindful that, with the
court's ruling, there may be circumstances where impaired drivers can
avoid punishment under the law. "If defendant did what the
prosecution charges, then his conduct was reprehensible -- his
voluntary inhalation of hydrocarbon while driving resulted in the
death of a young woman and serious injuries to others," the chief
judge wrote. "Perhaps gaps exist in the law and the prosecution
should not have to rely on the 12 other counts charged. However, a
determination by this court that intoxication in Vehicle and Traffic
Law section 1192(3) includes the use of any substance would
improperly override the legislative policy judgment."

There are numerous instances where individuals are arrested because
they were driving while they were dramatically intoxicated by a drug,
to the point of falling down and becoming unconscious but because
under the facts of each individual case, the substance was not
identified.

In response to this problem a number of states have enacted
legislation that allow for the prosecution of a driver who has
ingested intoxicating substances.

In addition, this bill adds an affirmative defense provision to
section 1192 of the VTL, which allows a defendant to prove that he or
she did not know nor reasonably should have known of the intoxicating
nature of the substance he or she consumed.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-10: Reported to Codes (S.4777/A.10917)
2008: Passed the Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the
first day of
November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 600--A
    Cal. No. 22

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. FUSCHILLO, ADDABBO, AVELLA, DIAZ, LARKIN, STAVISKY
  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
  the Committee  on  Transportation  --  reported  favorably  from  said
  committee  and committed to the Committee on Codes -- reported favora-
  bly from said committee, ordered to first and second  report,  ordered
  to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place
  in the order of third reading

AN  ACT  to  amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the defi-
  nitions of the terms "impaired" and "intoxication" for the purposes of
  such law

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

  Section  1. Section 119-b of the vehicle and traffic law is renumbered
119-c and a new section 119-b is added to read as follows:
  S 119-B. IMPAIRED. IMPAIRMENT IS REACHED WHEN A DRIVER HAS VOLUNTARILY
CONSUMED OR INGESTED A SUBSTANCE OR COMBINATION  OF  SUBSTANCES  TO  THE
EXTENT  THAT  THE  DRIVER  HAS IMPAIRED, TO ANY EXTENT, THE PHYSICAL AND
MENTAL ABILITIES WHICH A DRIVER IS EXPECTED TO POSSESS IN ORDER TO OPER-
ATE A VEHICLE AS A REASONABLE AND PRUDENT DRIVER.
  S 2. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding  a  new  section
120-a to read as follows:
  S  120-A. INTOXICATION. INTOXICATION IS A GREATER DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT
WHICH IS REACHED WHEN A DRIVER HAS VOLUNTARILY CONSUMED  OR  INGESTED  A
SUBSTANCE  OR COMBINATION OF SUBSTANCES TO THE EXTENT THAT THE DRIVER IS
INCAPABLE OF EMPLOYING THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ABILITIES WHICH A  DRIVER
IS EXPECTED TO POSSESS IN ORDER TO OPERATE A VEHICLE AS A REASONABLE AND
PRUDENT DRIVER.
  S  3. Section 1192 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding
a new subdivision 13 to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00099-06-1

S. 600--A                           2

  13. IT SHALL BE AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO A CHARGE UNDER ANY  SUBDIVI-
SION  OF  THIS  SECTION THAT THE OPERATOR NEITHER KNEW NOR HAD REASON TO
KNOW OF  THE  IMPAIRING  NATURE  OF  THE  SUBSTANCE  OR  COMBINATION  OF
SUBSTANCES  CONSUMED  OR  INGESTED.  PROVIDED,  HOWEVER, THAT NO DEFENSE
SHALL  BE  AVAILABLE  IF  ANY  SUCH  CONSUMED  OR  INGESTED SUBSTANCE IS
CONTAINED IN SECTION THIRTY-THREE HUNDRED SIX OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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