Driving privileges

The Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law heard HB 1157 on driving privileges sponsored Sens. Freeman and Tallian. The bill requires the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to remove any record of a suspension from a defendant charged with operating while intoxicated if the case ends in favor of the defendant and the defendant’s driving privileges were suspended because: (1) the defendant refused a chemical test; or (2) the results of a chemical test resulted in prima facie evidence of intoxication. The bill also permits a court to award specialized driving privileges to a defendant who refused to submit to a chemical test if: (1) the person has not previously refused to submit to a chemical test; (2) the person installs a certified ignition interlock device; and (3) the court finds that awarding specialized driving privileges is in the interests of justice.  The bill also provides that a court and the bureau, if applicable, shall terminate all or any part of the remaining suspension of a person’s license suspension if: (1) the charges against the person are dismissed; (2) the person is acquitted; or (3) the person’s conviction is vacated or reversed on appeal

The bill was amended by consent to impose a mandatory 180-day suspension upon a refusal before a person is eligible for specialized driving privileges.  A second amendment taken by consent enhanced failure to stop at a flashing red light to a Class A infraction if the failure to stop resulted in bodily injury.

The Indiana Public Defender Council and several defense attorneys testified in support of the bill as written but against the mandatory suspension amendment.  The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Indiana Fraternal Order of Police, and the Indiana State Police testified, but remained neutral.  The amended bill passed 7-2.

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/house/1157.