HB 139 - Motor vehicles; habitual violators; spec license plates

First Reader Summary

A BILL to amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to provide for the impoundment of license plates of habitual violators; to provide for the issuance of special license plates; and for other purposes.

Baker, Thurbert E (70th) (Resigned) Bordeaux, Tom (151st) Orrock, Nan (56th)
Smith, Jr., Charlie (175th)
Status Summary HC: SJudy SC: LA: 01/31/97 H - Recommitted
Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9
Code Sections - 40-5-67/ 42-8-110
House Action Senate
1/15/97 Read 1st Time
1/16/97 Read 2nd Time
1/31/97 Recommitted

HB 139                                          LC 25 0425-EC 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1- 2  relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to provide for 
  1- 3  the impoundment of license plates of habitual violators; to 
  1- 4  provide for the issuance of special license plates; to 
  1- 5  provide for procedures; to provide for hearings; to provide 
  1- 6  for fees for the issuance of special license plates; to 
  1- 7  provide for restrictions on the sale of certain motor 
  1- 8  vehicles; to change the effect of a plea of nolo contendere 
  1- 9  on the suspension of a driver's license; to provide for a 
  1-10  minimum mandatory imprisonment for persons convicted of 
  1-11  driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; to change 
  1-12  the minimum mandatory period of imprisonment for a person 
  1-13  convicted of a second violation of driving under the 
  1-14  influence of alcohol or drugs; to amend Article 7 of Chapter 
  1-15  8 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, 
  1-16  relating to the use of ignition interlock devices as a 
  1-17  condition of probation, so as to eliminate the requirement 
  1-18  that ignition interlock device provider centers be 
  1-19  established by a county or municipality; to authorize the 
  1-20  establishment of private provider centers; to provide an 
  1-21  effective date; to provide for applicability; to repeal 
  1-22  conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
 
  1-23       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-24                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-25  Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 
  1-26  to  motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by striking Code 
  1-27  Section 40-5-67, relating to seizure and disposition of 
  1-28  drivers' licenses of persons charged with driving under the 
  1-29  influence, issuance of temporary driving permits, and 
  1-30  disposition of cases, and inserting in lieu thereof the 
  1-31  following: 
 
  1-32    "40-5-67. 
 
  1-33    (a) Whenever any resident or nonresident person is charged 
  1-34    with violating Code Section 40-6-391, the law enforcement 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1    officer shall take the driver's license of the person so 
  2- 2    charged.  The driver's license shall be attached to the 
  2- 3    court's copy of the uniform traffic citation and complaint 
  2- 4    form and shall be forwarded to the court having 
  2- 5    jurisdiction of the offense.  A copy of the uniform 
  2- 6    traffic citation and complaint form shall be forwarded, 
  2- 7    within ten days of issue, to the Department of Public 
  2- 8    Safety. Taking the driver's license as required in this 
  2- 9    Code section shall not prohibit any law enforcement 
  2-10    officer or agency from requiring any cash bond authorized 
  2-11    by Article 1 of Chapter 6 of Title 17. 
 
  2-12    (b) At the time the law enforcement officer takes the 
  2-13    driver's license, the officer shall issue a temporary 
  2-14    driving permit to the person as follows: 
 
  2-15      (1) If the driver refuses to submit to a test or tests 
  2-16      to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs as 
  2-17      required in Code Section 40-5-55, the officer shall 
  2-18      issue a 30 day temporary driving permit; 
 
  2-19      (2) If the driver's license is required to be suspended 
  2-20      under Code Section 40-5-67.1, the officer shall issue a 
  2-21      30 day temporary driving permit; or 
 
  2-22      (3) If the test or tests administered pursuant to Code 
  2-23      Section 40-5-55 indicate a blood an alcohol 
  2-24      concentration in violation of Code Section 40-6-391 but 
  2-25      less than the level for an administrative suspension of 
  2-26      the license under subsection (c) of Code Section 
  2-27      40-5-67.1, the officer shall issue a 180 day temporary 
  2-28      driving permit. 
 
  2-29    This temporary driving permit shall be valid for the 
  2-30    stated period or until the person's driving privilege is 
  2-31    suspended or revoked under any provision of this title. 
  2-32    The Department of Public Safety, at its sole discretion, 
  2-33    may delay the expiration date of the temporary driving 
  2-34    permit, but in no event shall this delay extend beyond the 
  2-35    date when such person's driving privilege is suspended or 
  2-36    revoked under any provision of this title.  The department 
  2-37    shall by rules and regulations establish the conditions 
  2-38    under which the expiration of the temporary permit may be 
  2-39    delayed. 
 
  2-40      (c)(1) If the person is convicted of violating or enters 
  2-41      a plea of nolo contendere to a charge of violating Code 
  2-42      Section 40-6-391, the court shall, within ten days, 
  2-43      forward the person's driver's license and the record of 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1      the disposition of the case to the Department of Public 
  3- 2      Safety.  At this time, the court shall also require the 
  3- 3      person to surrender the temporary driving permit issued 
  3- 4      pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section. 
 
  3- 5        (2)(A) If the person is convicted of violating Code 
  3- 6        Section 40-6-391 and the person's driver's license is 
  3- 7        suspended or revoked pursuant to Code Section 40-5-58, 
  3- 8        the court shall issue an order requiring that the 
  3- 9        license plate of the motor vehicle which such person 
  3-10        was operating at the time of violating Code Section 
  3-11        40-6-391 be surrendered to the court, provided that 
  3-12        such motor vehicle is registered in such person's 
  3-13        name.  In the event a person was operating a motor 
  3-14        vehicle not registered in such person's name at the 
  3-15        time of violating Code Section 40-6-391, the court 
  3-16        shall issue an order requiring that the license plate 
  3-17        of any motor vehicle registered in such person's name 
  3-18        be surrendered to the court.  The court shall notify 
  3-19        the commissioner of public safety and the commissioner 
  3-20        of revenue within ten days after issuing any such 
  3-21        order.  The court shall issue a receipt for the 
  3-22        surrendered license plate or plates.  The court shall 
  3-23        forward the surrendered license plate or plates to the 
  3-24        local tag agent immediately upon receipt. 
 
  3-25        (B) Except as provided in subparagraph (C) of this 
  3-26        paragraph, no new license plate or plates may be 
  3-27        issued to a person subject to a court order issued 
  3-28        pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph until 
  3-29        the driver's license of such person has been reissued 
  3-30        or reinstated and, except as provided in subparagraph 
  3-31        (C) of this paragraph, it shall be a misdemeanor for 
  3-32        such person to request a new license plate or plates. 
 
  3-33          (C)(i) A person who is subject to a court order 
  3-34          issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this 
  3-35          paragraph may apply to the commissioner of public 
  3-36          safety for authorization to obtain a new license 
  3-37          plate or plates bearing a special series of numbers 
  3-38          and letters so as to be identifiable by law 
  3-39          enforcement officers.  The commissioner of public 
  3-40          safety shall determine whether the applicant has a 
  3-41          valid limited driving permit or probationary license 
  3-42          or whether there is another member of such person's 
  3-43          household who possesses a valid driver's license, 
  3-44          and in no event shall such determination take more 
 
 
 
                                 -3- 
 
 
 
  4- 1          than five business days.  A local tag agent shall 
  4- 2          not issue any plates except on written approval of 
  4- 3          the commissioner of public safety, payment of a 
  4- 4          $20.00 fee for each vehicle for which a special 
  4- 5          plate is issued, and compliance by the applicant 
  4- 6          with all applicable state laws. The written 
  4- 7          authorization from the commissioner of public safety 
  4- 8          shall specify the maximum number of license plates a 
  4- 9          person may obtain. 
 
  4-10          (ii) A motor vehicle owned or leased by a person 
  4-11          subject to a court order issued pursuant to 
  4-12          subparagraph (A) of this paragraph or for which a 
  4-13          license plate has been issued subject to division 
  4-14          (i) of this subparagraph may not be sold or conveyed 
  4-15          unless the commissioner of  revenue determines, upon 
  4-16          receipt of proper application, that the proposed 
  4-17          sale or conveyance is in good faith, that the person 
  4-18          subject to such court order will be deprived of 
  4-19          custody or control of the motor vehicle, and that 
  4-20          the sale or conveyance is not for the purpose of 
  4-21          circumventing the provisions of this Code section. 
  4-22          Upon making such determination, the commissioner of 
  4-23          revenue shall transfer the certificate of title to 
  4-24          such vehicle and issue a new certificate of 
  4-25          registration and license plate. 
 
  4-26          (iii) If the title to a motor vehicle owned by a 
  4-27          person subject to a court order issued pursuant to 
  4-28          subparagraph (A) of this paragraph or for which a 
  4-29          license plate has been issued pursuant to division 
  4-30          (i) of this subparagraph is transferred by the 
  4-31          foreclosure, cancellation of a conditional sales 
  4-32          contract, sale upon execution, or order of a court 
  4-33          of competent jurisdiction, the commissioner of 
  4-34          revenue shall transfer the certificate of title as 
  4-35          provided in Code Section 40-3-34 and issue a new 
  4-36          license plate to the new registered owner. 
 
  4-37          (iv) Upon full restoration of the driving privileges 
  4-38          of a person subject to a court order under 
  4-39          subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the commissioner 
  4-40          of public safety shall authorize the person to apply 
  4-41          for a regular issue license plate.  The fee for a 
  4-42          regular issue license plate shall be as provided by 
  4-43          Code Section 48-10-2.  As a condition of obtaining 
  4-44          any regular issue license plate, the person shall 
 
 
 
                                 -4- 
 
 
 
  5- 1          surrender his or her special issue license plate to 
  5- 2          the local tag agent. 
 
  5- 3          (v) Nothing in this Code section shall be deemed to 
  5- 4          waive any lawful requirement for the issuance of a 
  5- 5          license plate including, but not limited to, proof 
  5- 6          of financial responsibility. 
 
  5- 7          (vi) Display of a license plate issued pursuant to 
  5- 8          division (i) of this subparagraph shall not 
  5- 9          constitute probable cause for stopping or detaining 
  5-10          a vehicle. 
 
  5-11          (vii) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the 
  5-12          commissioner of public safety pursuant to division 
  5-13          (i) of this subparagraph may make a request in 
  5-14          writing to the Office of State Administrative 
  5-15          Hearings for a hearing.  Such hearing shall follow 
  5-16          the procedures required by Chapter 13 of Title 50, 
  5-17          the 'Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.' 
 
  5-18      (3) If the person is not convicted of violating and does 
  5-19      not enter a plea of nolo contendere to a charge of 
  5-20      violating Code Section 40-6-391, and the court is in 
  5-21      possession of the driver's license, the court shall 
  5-22      return the driver's license to the person unless the 
  5-23      license is in suspension for any other offense, in which 
  5-24      case the court shall forward the license to the 
  5-25      Department of Public Safety for disposition." 
 
  5-26                           SECTION 2. 
 
  5-27  Said title is further amended by striking paragraph (4) of 
  5-28  subsection (g) of Code Section 40-5-67.1, relating to the 
  5-29  administration of chemical tests to determine whether a 
  5-30  person is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 
  5-31  and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 
 
  5-32      "(4) In the event the person is acquitted of a violation 
  5-33      of Code Section 40-6-391 or such charge is initially 
  5-34      disposed of other than by a conviction or plea of nolo 
  5-35      contendere, then the suspension shall be terminated and 
  5-36      deleted from the driver's license record.  In the event 
  5-37      that a plea of nolo contendere is accepted to a charge 
  5-38      of violating Code Section 40-6-391, then the suspension 
  5-39      shall be terminated, provided that the An accepted plea 
  5-40      of nolo contendere shall be entered on the driver's 
  5-41      license record and shall be considered and counted as a 
  5-42      conviction for purposes of any future violations of Code 
 
 
 
                                 -5- 
 
 
 
  6- 1      Section 40-6-391. In the event of an acquittal, accepted 
  6- 2      plea of nolo contendere, or other disposition other than 
  6- 3      by a conviction or plea of nolo contendere, the driver's 
  6- 4      license restoration fee shall be promptly returned by 
  6- 5      the Department of Public Safety to the licensee." 
 
  6- 6                           SECTION 3. 
 
  6- 7  Said title is further amended by striking subsection (c) of 
  6- 8  Code Section 40-6-391, relating to driving under the 
  6- 9  influence of alcohol or drugs, and inserting in lieu thereof 
  6-10  the following: 
 
  6-11    "(c) Every person convicted of violating this Code section 
  6-12    shall, upon a first or second conviction thereof, be 
  6-13    guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon a third or subsequent 
  6-14    conviction thereof, be guilty of a high and aggravated 
  6-15    misdemeanor and shall be punished as follows: 
 
  6-16      (1) First conviction with no conviction of and no plea 
  6-17      of nolo contendere accepted to a charge of violating 
  6-18      this Code section within the previous five years, as 
  6-19      measured from the dates of previous arrests for which 
  6-20      convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo contendere 
  6-21      were accepted to the date of the current arrest for 
  6-22      which a conviction is obtained or a plea of nolo 
  6-23      contendere is accepted: 
 
  6-24        (A) A fine of not less than $300.00 nor more than 
  6-25        $1,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in 
  6-26        subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to 
  6-27        suspension, stay, or probation; 
 
  6-28        (B) A period of imprisonment of not less than ten days 
  6-29        nor more than 12 months, which period of imprisonment 
  6-30        may, at the sole discretion of the judge, be 
  6-31        suspended, stayed, or probated.  At the sole 
  6-32        discretion and under such terms and conditions as the 
  6-33        judge shall impose, the judge may suspend, stay, or 
  6-34        probate all but 24 hours of any term of imprisonment 
  6-35        imposed under this paragraph; and 
 
  6-36        (C) Not less than 40 hours of community service; 
 
  6-37      (2) For the second conviction within a five-year period 
  6-38      of time, as measured from the dates of previous arrests 
  6-39      for which convictions were obtained or pleas of nolo 
  6-40      contendere were accepted to the date of the current 
  6-41      arrest for which a conviction is obtained or a plea of 
  6-42      nolo contendere is accepted: 
 
 
                                 -6- 
 
 
 
  7- 1        (A) A fine of not less than $600.00 nor more than 
  7- 2        $1,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in 
  7- 3        subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to 
  7- 4        suspension, stay, or probation; 
 
  7- 5        (B) A period of imprisonment of not less than 90 days 
  7- 6        nor more than 12 months.  At the sole discretion and 
  7- 7        under such terms and conditions as the judge shall 
  7- 8        impose, the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all 
  7- 9        but 48 72 hours of any term of imprisonment imposed 
  7-10        under this paragraph; and 
 
  7-11        (C) Not less than 80 hours of community service; or 
 
  7-12      (3) For the third or subsequent conviction within a 
  7-13      five-year period of time, as measured from the dates of 
  7-14      previous arrests for which convictions were obtained or 
  7-15      pleas of nolo contendere were accepted to the date of 
  7-16      the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained or 
  7-17      a plea of nolo contendere is accepted: 
 
  7-18        (A) A fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more 
  7-19        than $5,000.00, which fine shall not, except as 
  7-20        provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be 
  7-21        subject to suspension, stay, or probation; 
 
  7-22        (B) A mandatory period of imprisonment of not less 
  7-23        than 120 days nor more than 12 months.  At the sole 
  7-24        discretion and under such terms and conditions as the 
  7-25        judge shall impose, the judge may suspend, stay, or 
  7-26        probate all but ten days of any term of imprisonment 
  7-27        imposed under this paragraph; and 
 
  7-28        (C) Not less than 20 days of community service. 
 
  7-29    For the purpose of imposing a sentence under this 
  7-30    subsection, a plea of nolo contendere shall constitute a 
  7-31    conviction." 
 
  7-32                           SECTION 4. 
 
  7-33  Article 7 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 of the Official Code of 
  7-34  Georgia Annotated, relating to the use of ignition interlock 
  7-35  devices as a condition of probation, is amended by striking 
  7-36  Code Section 42-8-110, relating to definitions, 
  7-37  applicability, and purchase or lease of ignition interlock 
  7-38  devices by counties and municipalities, and inserting in 
  7-39  lieu thereof the following: 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -7- 
 
 
 
  8- 1    "42-8-110. 
 
  8- 2    (a) As used in this article, the term 'ignition interlock 
  8- 3    device' means a constant monitoring device certified by 
  8- 4    the commissioner of public safety which prevents a motor 
  8- 5    vehicle from being started at any time without first 
  8- 6    determining the equivalent blood alcohol concentration of 
  8- 7    the operator through the taking of a deep lung breath 
  8- 8    sample.  The system shall be calibrated so that the motor 
  8- 9    vehicle may not be started if the blood alcohol 
  8-10    concentration of the operator, as measured by the device, 
  8-11    exceeds 0.02 grams or if the sample is not a sample of 
  8-12    human breath. 
 
  8-13    (b) As used in this article, the term 'provider center' 
  8-14    means a facility established by a county or municipality 
  8-15    for the purpose of providing and installing ignition 
  8-16    interlock devices when their use is required by or as a 
  8-17    result of an order of a court of that county or 
  8-18    municipality. 
 
  8-19    (c) This article shall not apply with respect to a court 
  8-20    in general if the county or municipality served by the 
  8-21    court has not established a provider center. This article 
  8-22    shall not apply in any particular case if the relevant 
  8-23    provider center does not have available a functioning 
  8-24    certified ignition interlock device available for use in 
  8-25    that particular case.  
 
  8-26    (d) Ignition interlock devices for provider centers shall 
  8-27    be purchased or leased by counties, and municipalities, or 
  8-28    private entities pursuant to competitive bidding 
  8-29    procedures established by the rules and regulations of the 
  8-30    Department of Public Safety. 
 
  8-31    (e)(d) A provider center may charge the person whose 
  8-32    vehicle is to be equipped with an ignition interlock 
  8-33    device installation and deinstallation fees and rental 
  8-34    fees reasonably calculated to compensate the county or 
  8-35    municipality for the total direct and indirect costs of 
  8-36    operating the provider center. A provider center shall be 
  8-37    authorized to charge the person whose vehicle is to be 
  8-38    equipped with an ignition interlock device such 
  8-39    installation, deinstallation, and user fees as are 
  8-40    approved by the Department of Public Safety. A provider 
  8-41    center may also require such person to make a security 
  8-42    deposit for the safe return of the ignition interlock 
 
 
 
 
                                 -8- 
 
 
 
  9- 1    device. Payment of any or all of such fees and deposits 
  9- 2    may be made a condition of probation under this order." 
 
  9- 3                           SECTION 5. 
 
  9- 4  This Act shall become effective on July 1, 1997, and shall 
  9- 5  apply to all offenses committed on or after that date. 
 
  9- 6                           SECTION 6. 
 
  9- 7  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  9- 8  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -9- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98

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