In 2007 two bills considered by the Committee, would hopefully improve the condition of Driving While Intoxicated law.
Firstly, the Committee considered a bill which would require clarification of the statement which must be read to defendants before they are asked to submit to the breath test. This statement, commonly referred to as Paragraph 36, tells the suspect that for purposes of the breath test, he has no right to have an attorney present, nor to refrain from taking the test as the result of his right to remain silent. The problem arises as a result of confusion which can arise because of the Miranda rights which are stated to the suspect at the same time. It is in the course of reading the Miranda rights that the defendant is told that he has a right to remain silent and to have an attorney present. Failure to take the test can result in a violation of law which carries penalties similar to those which would arise as a result of a DWI conviction. Hopefully, this proposed legislation will help to clarify the confusion which can arise in this situation.
The second bill would require that a portion of the $3000 insurance surcharge imposed as a result of a DWI conviction, be actually used to help people with alcohol related problems. At the present time, these surcharge funds go to fund motor vehicle insurance programs presently in place.