senate Bill S7170

2013-2014 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 - In Committee


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

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
May 01, 2014 referred to transportation

S7170 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6491A
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 Previous Legislative Sessions:
2013-2014: A6491A, S754A
2011-2012: A848A, S600A, S754
2009-2010: A10917, S3416, S4777

S7170 - Bill Texts

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

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BILL NUMBER:S7170

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.2n 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 an operator who suffered and allergic reaction
or medical emergency rather than being impaired by the substance or
combination of substances.

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.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:


This act shall take effect first of November next succeeding the date
on which it shall have become law.

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

                                  7170

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 1, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- 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, 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
section 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:
  13.  IT SHALL BE AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE TO A CHARGE UNDER ANY SUBDIVI-
SION OF THIS SECTION THAT THE OPERATOR SUFFERED AN ALLERGIC REACTION  OR
MEDICAL  EMERGENCY RATHER THAN BEING IMPAIRED BY THE SUBSTANCE OR COMBI-
NATION OF SUBSTANCES.   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.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01326-04-4

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