SB0522C-Committee Bill Summary (House)

HCS SCS SB 522 -- IMPAIRED DRIVERS

SPONSOR: Sims (Lakin)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Consumer Protection by a vote of 14 to 0.

The Director of Revenue presently has the authority to require drivers to submit to a driving test if there is "good cause" to believe that a driver is incompetent or unqualified to drive. This substitute allows good cause to be based upon reports by law enforcement officers, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, registered nurses, social workers, or any member of the operator's family within 3 degrees of consanguinity over the age of 18.

The substitute spells out the composition of such reports. Any person who makes a report in good faith will be immune from any civil liability that otherwise might result from making the report. All reports made and all medical records reviewed and maintained by the Department of Revenue will be kept confidential except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction. Reporting is limited to one time per year. A person whose license is taken away because of a temporary condition may petition for total or partial reinstatement.

The substitute establishes a medical/vision advisory board within the Department of Revenue in order to advise the Director of Revenue on medical criteria for the reporting and examination of drivers with medical impairments. Any guidelines and regulations must be issued in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Examinations required may include, but are not limited to, a written test and test of driving skills, vision, highway sign recognition if appropriate, and a physical or mental examination.

Any person who knowingly violates a confidentiality provision of this substitute, knowingly permits or encourages the unauthorized use of a report or reporting a person's name, or intentionally files a false report will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and be liable for damages.

This substitute has an effective date of January 1, 1999.

FISCAL NOTE: Estimated Net Cost to Highway Fund of $43,539 in FY 1999, $67,105 in FY 2000, and $68,619 in FY 2001.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that this bill provides a measure to keep roads and people safe from impaired drivers.

Testifying for the bill was Senator Sims.

OPPONENTS: There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Donna Schlosser, Legislative Analyst



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