An e-mail update from Senator Tom Wyss (R-15):
Governor to Consider Bill to Strengthen Habitual Traffic Offender Law
A bill authored by State Sen. Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) to further monitor former habitual traffic offenders who regain driving privileges is now in the governor’s hands.
Senate lawmakers today unanimously agreed with amendments made by the House of Representatives, sending the legislation to Gov. Mitch Daniels for consideration.
Wyss said his legislation puts in writing judges’ authority to enforce a more strict monitoring policy where former repeat offenders are concerned.
“This legislation has been strengthened by both houses of the General Assembly and I am pleased to see it moving to the governor,” Wyss said. “Senate Bill 221 outlines a judge’s authority to monitor former habitual traffic offenders, helping ensure Indiana’s roads are safer for all Hoosiers.”
Wyss said the bill would require judges to monitor individuals who have commited at least two prior offenses – like drunken driving or driving while under the influence of a controlled substance – with one being during the past five years.
Under Wyss’ measure, judges would be required to use one or more monitoring methods of former offenders convicted of driving while intoxicated during a three-year probationary period:
- An ignition interlock device that requires a vehicle operator to blow into a handheld alcohol sensor unit that is attached to the dashboard. The car cannot be started if a blood alcohol content is above a preset level;
- A chemical drug or alcohol test violators must submit to any time a law enforcement officer stops them;
- A personal monitoring device the offender must wear to detect and record their drug or alcohol content during the hours they are permitted to drive. Wyss’ bill also gives judges the authority to specify and limit hours offenders are allowed to drive; or
- Other reasonable monitoring methods determined by the court.
Indiana law defines a habitual traffic offender as a person who has – within a 10-year period – either committed two major offenses which resulted in injury or death or three offenses such as driving with a blood alcohol content of more than .08 percent or speeding.According to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, from 2005 to 2008 about 2,450 driver’s licenses were suspended for being habitual traffic offenders.
The Senator’s website