AN ACT TO ELIMINATE THE MANDATORY WAITING PERIODS FOR DRIVERS LICENSE RESTORATION OR LIMITED DRIVING PRIVILEGES IF THE PERSON IS OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE THAT HAS A FUNCTIONING IGNITION INTERLOCK SYSTEM INSTALLED ON IT; TO REQUIRE FOR THE RESTORATION OF LICENSES AFTER CERTAIN DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED CONVICTIONS, OR THE ISSUANCE OF LIMITED DRIVING PRIVILEGES, AN IGNITION INTERLOCK SYSTEM BE INSTALLED ON ONLY THE MOTOR VEHICLES THE PERSON WILL DRIVE; TO ELIMINATE THE RESTRICTIONS ON THE PURPOSES FOR DRIVING AND THE HOURS DURING WHICH A PERSON MAY OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE IF THE PERSON IS OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH A FUNCTIONING IGNITION INTERLOCK SYSTEM INSTALLED ON IT; TO ALLOW THE WAIVER OR REDUCTION OF COSTS FOR CERTAIN PERSONS REQUIRED TO INSTALL AN IGNITION INTERLOCK SYSTEM; TO REVISE THE MAXIMUM BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION LEVEL FOR THE OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES TO THE IGNITION INTERLOCK SYSTEM PRE-SET FAIL LEVEL; AND TO REQUIRE THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY TO STUDY WHETHER TO
EXPAND THE USE OF IGNITION INTERLOCK SYSTEMS.
Identical to S 183, filed 3/4/21.
Makes the following changes to GS 20-179.3 regarding limited driving privileges. Eliminates subsection (c1), which set three additional restrictions for limited driving privileges issued to persons convicted of an impaired driving offense with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more at the time of the offense, including delaying the effectiveness of the limited driving privilege until 45 days after the final conviction. Amends subsections (g3) and (g5), which permit or mandate a judge to include specified conditions in a limited driving privilege order based on whether the person's license is revoked for an impaired driving conviction where the person had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, which include restricting the applicant to one designated motor vehicle, installing functioning ignition interlock system that prohibits driving with an alcohol concentration greater than 0.00, and requiring the applicant to personally activate the system before driving. Adds provisions to both subsections (g3) and (g5) to specify that when limited driving privilege orders include restrictions set out in those subsections, the other limitations of the statute set out in subsections (a) (which restricts the privilege to driving for seven specified "essential" purposes only), (f), (g), (g1), and (g2) (which each provide further operational hour and purpose restrictions for the privilege) do not apply when the person is operating the designated motor vehicle with a functioning ignition interlock system. Makes clarifying and technical changes.
Amends GS 20-17.8, which provides procedures and restrictions for restoring a license revoked following a conviction for driving while impaired when the person had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, the person had been convicted of another offense involving impaired driving within the preceding seven years, or the person was sentenced under the aggravated level one punishment provisions of GS 20-179(f3). Amends the restoration requirements for applicable licenses to require the person to agree to and indicate on their drivers license that the person cannot drive with an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater, rather than setting different alcohol concentration restrictions based on circumstances of the conviction. Now requires a person subject to these restoration requirements to designate any registered vehicles owned by that person that the person operates or intends to operate and have the designated vehicles equipped with a functioning ignition interlock system approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (Commissioner; current law requires all registered vehicles owned by the person to be equipped with a functioning system). Requires proof of installation in at least one of the person's designated vehicles prior to license issuance. Eliminates the provisions which allow a person to seek an installation waiver for the person's registered vehicles that are used by other family members and not in the person's possession. Now authorizes the Commissioner to cancel the drivers license of subject persons if they operate a vehicle that is not designated or remove the ignition interlock system from any designated vehicle, other than changing providers or upon sale of the vehicle. No longer authorizes cancellation of a license for registration of a vehicle owned by the person without an installed ignition interlock system. Makes conforming changes regarding revocation hearings for violations of the statute's restrictions. Makes clarifying and technical changes.
Amends GS 20-19(c3), which places four additional restrictions on drivers licenses which are restored following revocation pursuant to the following statutes, as applicable: GS 20-13.2(a) (revocation of a provisional license following a conviction for driving while impaired under 21); GS 20-23 (revocation following out-of-state impaired driving convictions); GS 20-23.2 (revocation following federal impaired driving convictions); GS 20-17(a)(2) (revocation for impaired driving under GS 20-138.1 or impaired driving in a commercial vehicle under GS 20-128.2 if the alcohol concentration was .06 or higher); GS 20-17(a)(1) or (9) (revocation for manslaughter, felony or misdemeanor death by vehicle, or serious injury by vehicle, when the offense involved impaired driving); GS 20-138.5(d) (permanent revocation for habitual impaired driving); or subsection (c3). Adds a fifth additional restriction to require the person not operate a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of greater than 0.00 at any relevant time after the driving for licenses restored after revocation for conviction of impaired driving while less than 21 under GS 20-128.3 or revocation under GS 20-23 or GS 20-23.2 for out-of-state or federal impaired driving offenses which if committed in this State would result in a conviction under GS 20-128.3 (this requirement was previously included in GS 20-17.8(b)(3), but more broadly included revocations for driving while impaired in a commercial vehicle under GS 20-138.2, violations of 20-141.4, and under GS 20-17(a)(1)). Additionally, specifies that the person seeking restoration under subsection (c3) must agree to submit to a chemical analysis at the request of a law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe the person is operating a motor vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area while consuming alcohol or at any time while the person has remaining in the person's body any alcohol or controlled substance previously consumed (previously, if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person is operating in violation of the specified restrictions of (c3)). Further amends GS 20-19 by making clarifying and technical changes, and making language gender neutral.
Enacts GS 20-179.5 to explicitly place the cost of installation and monitoring of an ignition interlock system required by a court or the Division of Motor Vehicles (Division) on the person ordered to install the system, collected by agreed terms with the vendor. Allows a person ordered by a court or required by statute to install an ignition interlock system to lawfully operate a motor vehicle and who cannot afford the cost to apply to an authorized vendor for a waiver of a portion of the costs. Details affidavit and supporting documentation requirements, including that either the person's income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty line or the person is enrolled in one of the five specified public assistance programs. For compliant waivers, requires that the applicant not be required to pay for the system's installation or removal, and receive a 50% discount on the monthly service rate charged. Provides for Division review of a vendor's determination regarding a waiver. Requires the Division to adopt rules to govern review.
Requires the Division to adopt temporary implementing rules under GS 20-179.5, as enacted.
Makes the above provisions effective December 1, 2021, and applicable to limited driving privileges issued on or after that date.
Requires the Division to develop the waiver form to be used under GS 20-179.5 by December 1, 2021.
Directs the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety to study whether the use of an ignition interlock system as a condition of a limited driving privilege should be expanded to include additional convictions and whether the requirements should apply to limited driving privileges granted pretrial and granted to permit driving during the period of a revocation for refusal to submit to chemical testing. Further requires study of whether the Division rather than courts should be authorized to granted limited driving privileges and to supervise the use of ignition interlocks. Requires reporting findings and proposed legislation prior to the convening of the 2022 Regular Session.
Provides a savings clause for prosecutions for offenses committed before the effective date of the act.
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