2005 Legislation
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SENATE BILL NO. 1067 – Driving, reckless/inattentive/pnlty


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Bill Status

S1067................................................by JUDICIARY AND RULES
DRIVING - RECKLESS/INATTENTIVE - Amends existing law to revise the
punishment for reckless and inattentive driving.
01/31    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/01    Rpt prt - to Jud
02/08    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/09    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/10    3rd rdg - PASSED - 30-1-4
      AYES -- Andreason, Brandt, Broadsword, Bunderson, Burkett,
      Burtenshaw, Coiner, Compton, Darrington, Gannon, Geddes, Goedde,
      Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Langhorst, Little, Lodge, Marley, McGee,
      McKenzie, Noble, Pearce, Richardson, Schroeder, Stegner, Stennett,
      Sweet, Werk, Williams
      NAYS -- Corder
      Absent and excused -- Cameron, Davis, Keough, Malepeai
    Floor Sponsor - Lodge
    Title apvd - to House
02/11    House intro - 1st rdg - to Jud
03/10    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/11    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/15    3rd rdg - PASSED - 57-12-1
      AYES -- Anderson, Barraclough, Bastian, Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black,
      Block, Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Cannon, Chadderdon, Clark, Collins, Deal,
      Denney, Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(18), Field(23), Harwood, Henbest,
      Henderson, Jaquet, Jones, Kemp, Lake, LeFavour, Loertscher, Martinez,
      McGeachin, Miller, Mitchell, Moyle, Nielsen, Pasley-Stuart, Pence,
      Ring, Ringo, Roberts, Rusche, Rydalch, Sali, Sayler, Shepherd(2),
      Shepherd(8), Shirley, Skippen, Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie,
      Snodgrass, Stevenson, Trail, Wills, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- Andrus, Barrett, Bayer, Edmunson, Garrett, Hart(Jacobson),
      Mathews, McKague, Nonini, Raybould, Schaefer, Wood
      Absent and excused -- Crow
    Floor Sponsor - Harwood
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/16    To enrol
03/17    Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/18    Sp signed
03/21    To Governor
03/23    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 119
         Effective: 07/01/05

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-eighth Legislature                   First Regular Session - 2005
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                    SENATE BILL NO. 1067
                              BY JUDICIARY AND RULES COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
  4    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  5        SECTION  1.  That  Section 49-1401, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
  6    amended to read as follows:
  7        49-1401.  RECKLESS DRIVING. (1) Any person who  drives  or  is  in  actual
  8    physical  control  of  any  vehicle  upon a highway, or upon public or private
  9    property open to public use, carelessly and heedlessly or without due  caution
 10    and  circumspection, and at a speed or in a manner as to endanger or be likely
 11    to endanger any person or property, or who passes when there is a line in  his
 12    lane  indicating  a  sight  distance  restriction, shall be guilty of reckless
 13    driving and upon conviction shall be punished as provided in subsection (2) of
 14    this section.
 15        (2)  Every person convicted of reckless driving under this  section  shall
 16    be  punished  by  imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for a period of
 17    not less than five (5) days nor more than ninety (90) days, or by  a  fine  of
 18    not  less  than  twenty-five  dollars  ($25.00) nor who pleads guilty to or is
 19    found guilty of reckless driving for the first time is guilty of a misdemeanor
 20    and may be sentenced to jail for not more than six (6) months or may be  fined
 21    not  more  than three five hundred dollars ($3500), or may be punished by both
 22    fine and imprisonment. On a second or subsequent conviction shall be  punished
 23    by  imprisonment for not less than ten (10) days nor more than six (6) months,
 24    or by a fine of not less than fifty dollars  ($50.00)  nor  Every  person  who
 25    pleads  guilty  to  or is found guilty of reckless driving, who has previously
 26    been found guilty of or has pled guilty to reckless driving, or  any  substan-
 27    tially  conforming  foreign criminal violation within five (5) years, notwith-
 28    standing the form of the judgment(s) or withheld judgment(s), is guilty  of  a
 29    misdemeanor and may be sentenced to jail for not more than one (1) year or may
 30    be fined not more than three hundred one thousand dollars ($31,000), or may be
 31    punished  by both fine and imprisonment. The department shall suspend the dri-
 32    ver's license or privileges of any such person as provided in section  49-326,
 33    Idaho Code.
 34        (3)  Inattentive  driving  shall be considered a lesser offense than reck-
 35    less driving and shall be applicable in those circumstances where the  conduct
 36    of  the  operator has been inattentive, careless or imprudent, in light of the
 37    circumstances then existing, rather than heedless or wanton, or in those cases
 38    where the danger to persons or property by the motor vehicle  operator's  con-
 39    duct  is slight. Every person convicted of inattentive driving under this sec-
 40    tion shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be sentenced  to  jail  for  not
 41    more than ninety (90) days or may be fined not more than three hundred dollars
 42    ($300), or may be punished by both fine and imprisonment.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The purpose of this legislation is to amend the penalty for Reckless and
Inattentive Driving, under Idaho Code 49-1401.  This legislation addresses the
Court of Appeals decision in State v. Parker, Substitute Opinion No. 61,
Docket No. 30527, October 19, 2004, in which the Court pointed out ambiguity
in this code section with respect to the permissible penalty for inattentive
driving.  This ambiguity arises from the fact that subsection (3) of I.C. 49-
1401, inattentive driving, is silent regarding the penalty for a conviction. 
Normally, when a misdemeanor statute does not state a penalty, the court
applies I.C. 18-113(1), which sets out a general misdemeanor penalty of six
(6) months in jail and/or a three hundred dollar ($300.00) fine.  

However, in I.C. 49-1401(3), inattentive driving is specifically designated as
a lesser offense than reckless driving.  The current maximum jail sentence for
reckless driving is ninety (90) days.  Therefore, when the court applies the
general misdemeanor penalty for a conviction of inattentive driving the result
is a maximum sentence that is greater than that for a conviction of reckless
driving.  This amendment prescribes a penalty for inattentive driving of
ninety (90) days or a fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) or both.  

In addition, this legislation increases the maximum penalty for reckless
driving.  The increased penalty recognizes that the conduct of individuals who
drive in a manner that is careless, headless or without due caution is very
serious and potentially dangerous to all citizens who are on the roads in our

The current penalty for a first offense of reckless driving is not less than
five (5) days nor more than ninety (90) days in jail or a fine of three
hundred dollars ($300.00) or both.  
This amendment increases the penalty for a first offense of reckless driving
to a maximum of six (6) months in jail or a fine of five hundred dollars
($500.00) or both.  This proposed amendment also removes the mandatory jail
requirement in the current law.  

The current penalty for a second offense of reckless driving is not less than
ten (10) days in jail nor more than six (6) months or a three hundred dollar
fine ($300.00) or both.  With this amendment, the penalty has been increased
to a maximum of one (1) year in jail or a fine of one thousand dollars
($1000.00) or both.  Again, the mandatory jail language has been removed from
the statute in this amendment.

Finally, language requiring a five (5) year time limitation period for
applicability of the second offense enhanced penalties has been added to the

                         FISCAL IMPACT

There is no fiscal impact.

Name:  Heather Reilly
       Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Phone: 287-7700

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                       S 1067