senate Bill S754A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

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

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (8)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Apr 24, 2013 referred to transportation
Apr 23, 2013 delivered to assembly
passed senate
Apr 15, 2013 amended on third reading 754a
Mar 21, 2013 advanced to third reading
Mar 20, 2013 2nd report cal.
Mar 19, 2013 1st report cal.244
Jan 09, 2013 referred to transportation

Votes

view votes

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S754 - 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:
2011-2012: S600A, A848A
2009-2010: S4777, A10917

S754 - Bill Texts

view summary

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

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S754

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).

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:
2011-2012: Passed the Senate (S.600A/A.848A)
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
________________________________________________________________________

                                   754

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  FUSCHILLO,  FLANAGAN, LARKIN, RANZENHOFER -- 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
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 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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01326-01-3

S. 754                              2

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.

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S754A (ACTIVE) - 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:
2011-2012: S600A, A848A
2009-2010: S4777, A10917

S754A (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:S754A

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).

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.

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

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-2012: Passed the Senate (S. 600A/A. 848A)
2009-2010: 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
________________________________________________________________________

                                 754--A
    Cal. No. 244

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. FUSCHILLO, ADDABBO, AVELLA, FLANAGAN, LARKIN, NOZZO-
  LIO,  RANZENHOFER, SAVINO, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation --
  reported favorably 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
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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01326-02-3

S. 754--A                           2

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.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.