HBA-EDN H.B. 1064 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1064 By: Uher Criminal Jurisprudence 3/2/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law requires that a judge specify the hours of the day and the area of travel in which a petitioner for an occupational driver's license (petitioner) is authorized to operate a motor vehicle. A judge must first determine whether an actual need to drive exists and then limit that right to travel to certain time periods or to a certain number of hours during the day. These restrictions may be problematic, especially for a petitioner who drives as a part of their job, if a petitioner encounters a change in work schedule, an emergency, or some other unforeseen event which might make it necessary to drive during certain hours or in certain areas prohibited by the judge's order. Limiting the number of hours the petitioner is allowed to drive also requires the petitioner to keep a log of driving hours, which necessitates constant attention and may be subject to fraud. House Bill 1064 removes restrictions on the time and area in which a petitioner may drive and also modifies penalties associated with operating a vehicle with an occupational driver's license while under the influence of any detectable amount of alcohol or controlled substance to prevent a petitioner from abusing the privilege. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Department of Public Safety in SECTION 2 (Section 521.254, Transportation Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1064 amends the Transportation Code to remove the requirement that an order granting an occupational license must specify the hours of the day during which the person may operate a motor vehicle and the areas or routes of travel permitted. The bill provides that a person who holds an occupational license commits a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, if the person operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug in the person's system. The bill provides that implied consent applies to a person arrested for an offense described above in the same manner as to a person arrested for an offense of driving while intoxicated. H.B. 1064 provides that a person who is arrested for an offense under these provisions, but who was not requested by the arresting officer to submit to the taking of a specimen of the person's breath or blood (specimen), is entitled, on payment of the required fee, to have a specimen taken and an analysis made as set forth in the bill. The bill provides an analysis is admissible on the trial of the offense, as is the refusal or inability of the arresting officer to comply with a person's request to have a specimen taken and an analysis made. H.B. 1064 requires the Department of Public Safety by rule to prescribe the amount of the required fee for an analysis of a person's breath specimen, but prohibits the fee from exceeding an amount that is equal to the average cost to the department of analyzing a breath specimen in the preceding fiscal year. On conviction of an offense under these provisions, the license and the order granting the license are revoked. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.