Bill S7170-2013

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

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

Details

Actions

  • May 1, 2014: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7170

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.2n 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.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7170 IN SENATE May 1, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- 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 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 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.

Discuss!

blog comments powered by Disqus