Bill S7577A-2011

Relates to leaving the scene of an incident without reporting

Enacts "Alix's law"; relates to leaving the scene of an incident without reporting it; also relates to operating a vehicle while under the influences of alcohol or drugs.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 19, 2012: referred to transportation
  • Jun 19, 2012: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 19, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 19, 2012: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1317
  • Jun 19, 2012: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 13, 2012: PRINT NUMBER 7577A
  • Jun 13, 2012: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO TRANSPORTATION
  • Jun 5, 2012: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Rules - Jun 21, 2012
Ayes (22): Skelos, Farley, Fuschillo, Hannon, Johnson, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Marcellino, Maziarz, Nozzolio, Saland, Seward, Sampson, Breslin, Dilan, Hassell-Thompson, Krueger, Parker, Perkins, Smith, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (2): Duane, Montgomery
Excused (1): Alesi

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7577A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to leaving the scene of an incident without reporting

PURPOSE: This bill amends subdivisions 1 and 2 of Section 600 of the vehicle and traffic law (VTL) in relation to leaving the scene of an incident without reporting to include operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Modifies the crime of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting when a driver is intoxicated by creating a duty to investigate when a driver knows or has reason to know that he or she has collided with anything. An intoxicated driver is presumed to know or have reason to know that he or she has made contact with a person or property.

EXISTING LAW: Currently states that a person must knowingly, or have reason to know that he or she caused personal injury or property damage to be guilty of leaving scene of an incident without reporting.

JUSTIFICATION: Too often drunk drivers flee the scene of an accident to avoid being accountable for their actions. In some cases, they leave seriously injured or dying victims at the scene of impact. Current law requires that a prosecutor prove that a drunk driver knowingly or had cause to know that they caused personal injury or property damage. This law modifies that statue so that drivers illegally operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol are held responsible when leaving the scene of an accident.

In a recent Erie County criminal case, 18-year-old Alix Rice, while riding her longboard, was killed by a drunk driver who fled the scene of the crime. The defendant argued that he was not aware he had hit a person and his defense team was successful in getting him acquitted on the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Meanwhile, the defendant was convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Drunk drivers are already in violation of the law when operating a motor vehicle. Additionally, their perception and awareness are compromised. Because of these factors, the burden should not fall on the prosecution to prove an intoxicated driver's knowledge of causing damage to property or injuring other people. Instead, an intoxicated driver should be held fully accountable whenever an accident occurs. This bill will presume that an intoxicated driver knew or had reason to know that damage or injury has occurred and should have stopped to investigate.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediate.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7577--A IN SENATE June 5, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sens. GALLIVAN, GOLDEN, LARKIN, LIBOUS, MAZIARZ, SEWARD, STOROBIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to leaving the scene of an incident without reporting THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Alix's Law". S 2. Section 600 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 49 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: S 600. Leaving scene of an incident without reporting. 1. Property damage. a. Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that THE MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATED BY SUCH PERSON HAS COME IN CONTACT WITH AN OBJECT OTHER THAN THE ROAD WAY, HAS A DUTY TO PERFORM A REASONABLE AND GOOD FAITH INVESTIGATION OF THE INCIDENT AND IF AS A RESULT OF SUCH INVESTIGATION SUCH PERSON KNOWS OR HAS REASON TO KNOW THAT damage has been caused to the real property or to the personal property, not including animals, of another, due to [an incident involv- ing] THE CONTACT OF the motor vehicle operated by such person, SUCH PERSON shall, before leaving the place where the damage occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, when such card is required pursuant to articles six and eight of this chapter, and give his or her name, residence, including street and number, insurance carrier and insurance identification information including but not limited to the number and effective dates of said individual's insurance policy, and license number to the party sustain- ing the damage, or in case the person sustaining the damage is not pres- ent at the place where the damage occurred then he or she shall report the same as soon as physically able to the nearest police station, or judicial officer. A PERSON OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO OF THIS CHAPTER, THAT CAME INTO CONTACT WITH AN OBJECT OTHER THAN THE ROAD WAY, THAT RESULTED IN DAMAGE
TO REAL PROPERTY OR TO THE PERSONAL PROPERTY, NOT INCLUDING ANIMALS OF ANOTHER, SHALL BE PRESUMED TO HAVE KNOWN OR HAVE CAUSE TO KNOW OF SUCH CONTACT AND OF SUCH DAMAGE. b. It shall be the duty of any member of a law enforcement agency who is at the scene of the accident to request the said operator or opera- tors of the motor vehicles, when physically capable of doing so, to exchange the information required hereinabove and such member of a law enforcement agency shall assist such operator or operators in making such exchange of information in a reasonable and harmonious manner. A violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars or a sentence of imprisonment for up to fifteen days or both such fine and imprisonment. 2. Personal injury. a. Any person operating a motor vehicle who, know- ing or having cause to know that THE MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATED BY SUCH PERSON HAS COME IN CONTACT WITH AN OBJECT OTHER THAN THE ROAD WAY, HAS A DUTY TO PERFORM A REASONABLE AND GOOD FAITH INVESTIGATION OF THE INCI- DENT AND IF AS A RESULT OF SUCH INVESTIGATION SUCH PERSON KNOWS OR HAS REASON TO KNOW THAT personal injury has been caused to another person, due to [an incident involving] THE CONTACT OF the motor vehicle operated by such person, SUCH PERSON shall, before leaving the place where the said personal injury occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, when such card is required pursuant to articles six and eight of this chapter, and give his or her name, residence, including street and street number, insur- ance carrier and insurance identification information including but not limited to the number and effective dates of said individual's insurance policy and license number, to the injured party, if practical, and also to a police officer, or in the event that no police officer is in the vicinity of the place of said injury, then, he or she shall report said incident as soon as physically able to the nearest police station or judicial officer. A PERSON OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO OF THIS CHAPTER, THAT CAME INTO CONTACT WITH AN OBJECT OTHER THAN THE ROAD WAY, THAT RESULTED IN INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON, SHALL BE PRESUMED TO HAVE KNOWN OR HAVE CAUSE TO KNOW OF SUCH CONTACT AND OF SUCH INJURY. b. It shall be the duty of any member of a law enforcement agency who is at the scene of the accident to request the said operator or opera- tors of the motor vehicles, when physically capable of doing so, to exchange the information required hereinabove and such member of a law enforcement agency shall assist such operator or operators in making such exchange of information in a reasonable and harmonious manner. c. A violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision resulting solely from the failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for the vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph shall constitute a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty nor more than five hundred dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any subsequent such violation shall constitute a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision, other than for the mere failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph, shall constitute a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred
dollars nor more than one thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any such violation committed by a person after such person has previously been convicted of such a violation shall constitute a class E felony, punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision, other than for the mere failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle or exchange the information required in such para- graph, where the personal injury involved (i) results in serious phys- ical injury, as defined in section 10.00 of the penal law, shall consti- tute a class E felony, punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law, or (ii) results in death shall constitute a class D felony punishable by a fine of not less than two thousand nor more than five thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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