Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

Amendment

 

February Session, 2012

LCO No. 4815

   
 

*HB0538904815SRO*

Offered by:

 

SEN. MCKINNEY, 28th Dist.

SEN. BOUCHER, 26th Dist.

 

To: House Bill No. 5389

File No. 597

Cal. No. 430

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. Subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of section 14-227a of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both. A person commits the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both if such person operates a motor vehicle (1) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, [or] (2) while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, or (3) while such person has an elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content. For the purposes of this section, "elevated blood alcohol content" means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, except that if such person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, "elevated blood alcohol content" means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight; [,] "elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content" means five nanograms or more of tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of blood of such person; and "motor vehicle" includes a snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle, as those terms are defined in section 14-379.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, in any criminal prosecution for violation of subsection (a) of this section, evidence respecting the amount of alcohol or drug in the defendant's blood or urine at the time of the alleged offense, as shown by a chemical analysis of the defendant's breath, blood or urine shall be admissible and competent provided: (1) The defendant was afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of the test and consented to the taking of the test upon which such analysis is made; (2) a true copy of the report of the test result was mailed to or personally delivered to the defendant within twenty-four hours or by the end of the next regular business day, after such result was known, whichever is later; (3) the test was performed by or at the direction of a police officer according to methods and with equipment approved by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and was performed in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (d) of this section; (4) the device used for such test was checked for accuracy in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (d) of this section; (5) an additional chemical test of the same type was performed at least ten minutes after the initial test was performed or, if requested by the police officer for reasonable cause, an additional chemical test of a different type was performed to detect the presence of a drug or drugs other than or in addition to alcohol, provided the results of the initial test shall not be inadmissible under this subsection if reasonable efforts were made to have such additional test performed in accordance with the conditions set forth in this subsection and such additional test was not performed or was not performed within a reasonable time, or the results of such additional test are not admissible for failure to meet a condition set forth in this subsection; and (6) evidence is presented that the test was commenced within two hours of operation. In any prosecution under this section it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the results of such chemical analysis establish the ratio of alcohol or the tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be, in the blood of the defendant at the time of the alleged offense, except that if the results of the additional test indicate that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such defendant is ten-hundredths of one per cent or less of alcohol, by weight, and is higher than the results of the first test, evidence shall be presented that demonstrates that the test results and the analysis thereof accurately indicate the blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged offense.

(c) In any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section, reliable evidence respecting the amount of alcohol or the tetrahydrocannabinol content in the defendant's blood or urine at the time of the alleged offense, as shown by a chemical analysis of the defendant's blood, breath or urine, otherwise admissible under subsection (b) of this section, shall be admissible only at the request of the defendant.

Sec. 502. Section 14-227b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(a) Any person who operates a motor vehicle in this state shall be deemed to have given such person's consent to a chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath or urine and, if such person is a minor, such person's parent or parents or guardian shall also be deemed to have given their consent.

(b) If any such person, having been placed under arrest for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, and thereafter, after being apprised of such person's constitutional rights, having been requested to submit to a blood, breath or urine test at the option of the police officer, having been afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of such test and having been informed that such person's license or nonresident operating privilege may be suspended in accordance with the provisions of this section if such person refuses to submit to such test, or if such person submits to such test and the results of such test indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, and that evidence of any such refusal shall be admissible in accordance with subsection (e) of section 14-227a and may be used against such person in any criminal prosecution, refuses to submit to the designated test, the test shall not be given; provided, if the person refuses or is unable to submit to a blood test, the police officer shall designate the breath or urine test as the test to be taken. The police officer shall make a notation upon the records of the police department that such officer informed the person that such person's license or nonresident operating privilege may be suspended if such person refused to submit to such test or if such person submitted to such test and the results of such test indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be.

(c) If the person arrested refuses to submit to such test or analysis or submits to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, the police officer, acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, shall immediately revoke and take possession of the motor vehicle operator's license or, if such person is a nonresident, suspend the nonresident operating privilege of such person, for a twenty-four-hour period. The police officer shall prepare a report of the incident and shall mail or otherwise transmit in accordance with this subsection the report and a copy of the results of any chemical test or analysis to the Department of Motor Vehicles within three business days. The report shall contain such information as prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement as provided in section 53a-157b by the arresting officer. If the person arrested refused to submit to such test or analysis, the report shall be endorsed by a third person who witnessed such refusal. The report shall set forth the grounds for the officer's belief that there was probable cause to arrest such person for a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a, as amended by this act, and shall state that such person had refused to submit to such test or analysis when requested by such police officer to do so or that such person submitted to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may accept a police report under this subsection that is prepared and transmitted as an electronic record, including electronic signature or signatures, subject to such security procedures as the commissioner may specify and in accordance with the provisions of sections 1-266 to 1-286, inclusive. In any hearing conducted pursuant to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, it shall not be a ground for objection to the admissibility of a police report that it is an electronic record prepared by electronic means.

(d) If the person arrested submits to a blood or urine test at the request of the police officer, and the specimen requires laboratory analysis in order to obtain the test results, the police officer shall not take possession of the motor vehicle operator's license of such person or, except as provided in this subsection, follow the procedures subsequent to taking possession of the operator's license as set forth in subsection (c) of this section. If the test results indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, the police officer, immediately upon receipt of the test results, shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and submit to the commissioner the written report required pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(e) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may suspend any operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person effective as of a date certain, which date shall be not later than thirty days after the date such person received notice of such person's arrest by the police officer. Any person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision shall automatically be entitled to a hearing before the commissioner to be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 and prior to the effective date of the suspension. The commissioner shall send a suspension notice to such person informing such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended as of a date certain and that such person is entitled to a hearing prior to the effective date of the suspension and may schedule such hearing by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than seven days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice.

(2) If the person arrested (A) is involved in an accident resulting in a fatality, or (B) has previously had such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended under the provisions of section 14-227a, as amended by this act, during the ten-year period preceding the present arrest, upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may suspend any operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person effective as of the date specified in a notice of such suspension to such person. Any person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision shall automatically be entitled to a hearing before the commissioner, to be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. The commissioner shall send a suspension notice to such person informing such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended as of the date specified in such suspension notice, and that such person is entitled to a hearing and may schedule such hearing by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than seven days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice. Any suspension issued under this subdivision shall remain in effect until such suspension is affirmed or such operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is reinstated in accordance with subsections (f) and (h) of this section.

(f) If such person does not contact the department to schedule a hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section.

(g) If such person contacts the department to schedule a hearing, the department shall assign a date, time and place for the hearing, which date shall be prior to the effective date of the suspension, except that, with respect to a person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of this section, such hearing shall be scheduled not later than thirty days after such person contacts the department. At the request of such person or the hearing officer and upon a showing of good cause, the commissioner may grant one or more continuances. The hearing shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Did the police officer have probable cause to arrest the person for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both; (2) was such person placed under arrest; (3) did such person refuse to submit to such test or analysis or did such person submit to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be; and (4) was such person operating the motor vehicle. In the hearing, the results of the test or analysis shall be sufficient to indicate the ratio of alcohol or tetrahydrocannabinol content in the blood of such person at the time of operation, provided such test was commenced within two hours of the time of operation. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided by the general statutes for witnesses in criminal cases. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of section 52-143, any subpoena summoning a police officer as a witness shall be served not less than seventy-two hours prior to the designated time of the hearing.

(h) If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any one of the said issues in the negative, the commissioner shall reinstate such license or operating privilege. If, after such hearing, the commissioner does not find on any one of the said issues in the negative or if such person fails to appear at such hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section. The commissioner shall render a decision at the conclusion of such hearing and send a notice of the decision by bulk certified mail to such person. The notice of such decision sent by bulk certified mail to the address of such person as shown by the records of the commissioner shall be sufficient notice to such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is reinstated or suspended, as the case may be.

(i) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, the commissioner shall suspend the operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of a person who did not contact the department to schedule a hearing, who failed to appear at a hearing, or against whom, as the result of a hearing held by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (h) of this section, as of the effective date contained in the suspension notice, for a period of: (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, ninety days, if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be, (B) one hundred twenty days, if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or the tetrahydrocannabinol content in the blood of such person was five nanograms or more of tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of blood, or (C) six months if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis, (2) if such person has previously had such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended under this section, (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, nine months if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be, (B) ten months if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or the tetrahydrocannabinol content in the blood of such person was five nanograms or more of tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of blood, and (C) one year if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis, and (3) if such person has two or more times previously had such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended under this section, (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, two years if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be, (B) two and one-half years if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or the tetrahydrocannabinol content in the blood of such person was five nanograms or more of tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of blood, and (C) three years if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis.

(j) The commissioner shall suspend the operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of a person under twenty-one years of age who did not contact the department to schedule a hearing, who failed to appear at a hearing or against whom, after a hearing the commissioner held pursuant to subsection (h) of this section, as of the effective date contained in the suspension notice or the date the commissioner renders a decision whichever is later, for twice the appropriate period of time specified in subsection (i) of this section, except that, in the case of a person who is sixteen or seventeen years of age at the time of the alleged offense, the period of suspension for a first offense shall be one year if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be, or eighteen months if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis.

(k) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) to (j), inclusive, of this section, any police officer who obtains the results of a chemical analysis of a blood sample taken from an operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident who suffered or allegedly suffered physical injury in such accident, or is otherwise deemed by a police officer to require treatment or observation at a hospital, shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and submit to the commissioner a written report if such results indicate that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be, and if such person was arrested for violation of section 14-227a, as amended by this act, in connection with such accident. The report shall be made on a form approved by the commissioner containing such information as the commissioner prescribes, and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement, as provided in section 53a-157b, by the police officer. The commissioner may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, which shall be conducted by a hearing officer on behalf of the commissioner in accordance with chapter 54, suspend the motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person for the appropriate period of time specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section. Each hearing conducted under this subsection shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Whether the police officer had probable cause to arrest the person for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug or both; (2) whether such person was placed under arrest; (3) whether such person was operating the motor vehicle; (4) whether the results of the analysis of the blood of such person indicate that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content, as the case may be; and (5) whether the blood sample was obtained in accordance with conditions for admissibility and competence as evidence as set forth in subsection (k) of section 14-227a, as amended by this act. If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any one of the said issues in the negative, the commissioner shall not impose a suspension. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided by the general statutes for witnesses in criminal cases, as provided in section 52-260.

(l) The provisions of this section shall apply with the same effect to the refusal by any person to submit to an additional chemical test as provided in subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of section 14-227a, as amended by this act.

(m) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person whose physical condition is such that, according to competent medical advice, such test would be inadvisable.

(n) The state shall pay the reasonable charges of any physician who, at the request of a municipal police department, takes a blood sample for purposes of a test under the provisions of this section.

(o) For the purposes of this section: [, "elevated]

(1) "Elevated blood alcohol content" means [(1)] (A) a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, [(2)] (B) if such person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or [(3)] (C) if such person is less than twenty-one years of age, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is two-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight; and

(2) "Elevated blood tetrahydrocannabinol content" means five nanograms or more of tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of blood of such person.

(p) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section. "

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Sec. 501

October 1, 2012

14-227a(a) to (c)

Sec. 502

October 1, 2012

14-227b