Expands the definition of "drug", for the purposes of the vehicle and traffic law, to include inhalants and glues containing a solvent which releases toxic vapors and fumes; provides that the expansion of such definition expands the substances upon which a charge of the misdemeanor of driving while impaired by drugs may be based.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the definition of "drug"
PURPOSE: This bill would expand the definition of drug to include glue sniffing, or aerosol inhalation within the grounds for drug-impaired driving.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Sections 114-a and 509-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law are amended to expand the definition of the term "drug" to include any hazardous inhalants and glue containing a solvent having the property of releasing toxic vapors and fumes, as defined in § 3380 of the Public Health Law.
EXISTING LAW: Current law defines the term drug as used in this section as any substance listed in § 3306 of the Public Health Law, which provides for five schedules of controlled substances.
JUSTIFICATION: Amendment of the present definition of "drug" within the meaning of the offense of driving while ability impaired by drugs is intended to broaden the scope of the offense to include the use of inhalants, which can impair a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Current law only proscribes driving while ability impaired by drugs enumerated in drug schedules contained in Public Health Law § 3306, including illegal and prescription drugs. This restricted definition is problematic because driving under the influence of other impairing substances would not violate the drugged driving law provisions even though ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impeded thereby. Glue sniffing, aerosol inhalation, or the inhalation of any toxic vapor should be included as grounds for drug-impaired driving. The Uniform Vehicle Code of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Law Ordinances includes such a definition of "drug" in its model laws.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.4673/A.5286 Referred to Transportation 2007-2008: S.391/A.9867 Passed Senate 2006: S.6235 Passed Senate 2003-2004: S.2859/A.774 Passed Senate 2001-2002: S.2513/A.6645 Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect thirty days after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 747 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. YOUNG, DeFRANCISCO, RANZENHOFER -- 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- nition of "drug" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 114-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 163 of the laws of 1973, is amended to read as follows: S 114-a. Drug. The term "drug" when used in this chapter, means and includes any substance listed in section thirty-three hundred six of the public health law, AND ANY HAZARDOUS INHALANTS AND GLUE CONTAINING A SOLVENT HAVING THE PROPERTY OF RELEASING TOXIC VAPORS AND FUMES, AS DEFINED IN SECTION THIRTY-THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY OF SUCH LAW. S 2. Subdivision 5 of section 509-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 675 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows: (5) drug shall mean any substance listed in section thirty-three hundred six of the public health law not dispensed or consumed pursuant to a lawful prescription, AND ANY HAZARDOUS INHALANTS AND GLUE CONTAIN- ING A SOLVENT HAVING THE PROPERTY OF RELEASING TOXIC VAPORS AND FUMES, AS DEFINED IN SECTION THIRTY-THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY OF SUCH LAW; S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 510-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by section 13 of part E of chapter 60 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: 1. Revocation. A commercial driver's license shall be revoked by the commissioner whenever the holder is convicted within or outside of this state (a) of a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle except a felony as described in paragraph (b) of this subdivision; (b) of a felo- ny involving manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a drug
[as defined in], WHICH, NOTWITHSTANDING section one hundred fourteen-a ofEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02624-01-1 S. 747 2
this chapter, SHALL MEAN AND INCLUDE ANY SUBSTANCE LISTED IN SECTION THIRTY-THREE HUNDRED SIX OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, or possession of any such drug with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense such drug in which a motor vehicle was used; (c) of a violation of subdivision one or two of section six hundred of this chapter; (d) of operating a commercial motor vehicle when, as a result of prior violations committed while operating a commercial motor vehicle, the driver's commercial driver's license is revoked, suspended, or canceled, or the driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle; (e) or has been convicted of causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle, including but not limited to the crimes of vehicular manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. S 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.