Chapter 171

Chapter 171

2003 -- H 6137 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/10/03

 

 

A N A C T

RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES -- RHODE ISLAND UNIFORM

COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE ACT

     

     

     Introduced By: Representatives Long, McManus, and Amaral

     Date Introduced: February 27, 2003

 

     

 

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. Sections 31-10.3-29 and 31-10.3-31 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-

10.3 entitled "Rhode Island Uniform Commercial Driver's License Act" are hereby amended to

read as follows:

     31-10.3-29. Employer responsibilities. -- No employer shall knowingly allow, permit,

or authorize an employee to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the United States or province

of Canada during any period:

      (1) In which the employee has more than one license.;

      (2) Prior to obtaining, on a written application, the information specified in section 31-

10.3-28(c).;

      (3) When the employee's license is suspended, revoked, cancelled, or otherwise

withdrawn.;

     (4) During any period in which the driver, or the commercial motor vehicle he or she is

driving, or the motor carrier operator, is subject to an out-of-service order; or

     (5) In violation of a federal, state, or local law or regulation pertaining to railroad-

highway grade crossings.

     31-10.3-31. Violations -- Penalties. -- (a) It shall be illegal for any person driving any

commercial motor vehicle as defined in this chapter to operate or control that vehicle while under

the influence of alcohol, drugs, toluene, or any other substance as defined in chapter 28 of title

21. For the purpose of this chapter, any person who drives, operates, or exercises physical control

of a commercial motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration of four-one-

hundredths of one percent (.04%) or greater by weight, as shown by a chemical analysis of a

blood, breath, or urine sample shall be guilty of the offense of driving while under the influence

of liquor or drugs.

      (b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, it shall be illegal for any

person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle while having

alcohol in his or her system.

      (2) The administrator shall suspend, for at least one year, a commercial motor vehicle

operator's license or privilege who is found to have committed a first violation of:

      (i) Driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or controlled

substances;

      (ii) Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the person's

blood, breath, or other bodily substance is four-one-hundredths of one percent (.04%) or greater;

      (iii) Knowingly and willfully leaving the scene of an accident involving a commercial

motor vehicle driven by the person;

      (iv) Using a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony;

      (v) Refusing to submit to a chemical analysis of breath, blood, or urine while operating a

commercial vehicle.

      (3) If the operator commits any of these violations while carrying hazardous materials

requiring placards under federal/state regulations, the revocation shall be for a period of not less

than three (3) years.

      (4) The administrator shall revoke for life, which may be reduced to a period of at least

ten (10) years in accordance with department of administration regulations, a commercial motor

vehicle operator's license or privilege who is found to have committed a second violation of:

      (i) Driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or controlled

substances;

      (ii) Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration in the person's

blood, breath, or other bodily substance is four-one-hundredths of one percent (.04%) or greater;

      (iii) Knowingly and willfully leaving the scene of an accident involving a commercial

motor vehicle driven by the person;

      (iv) Using a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony;

      (v) Refusing to submit to a chemical analysis of breath, blood, and/or urine while in a

commercial motor vehicle.

      (5) The administrator shall revoke for life the commercial motor vehicle operator's

license or privilege of any person who is found to have used a commercial motor vehicle in the

manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance or the possession with intent to

distribute, manufacture, or dispense a controlled substance.

      (6) The administrator shall suspend the commercial motor vehicle operator's license or

privilege for a period of not less than sixty (60) days of each person who, in a three (3) year

period, has committed two (2) serious traffic violations involving a commercial motor vehicle,

and for not less than one hundred twenty (120) days of each person who has committed three (3)

serious traffic violations in a three (3) year period.

      (7) Any person violating subsection (a) of this section shall, upon conviction, be subject

to the fines, penalties, and assessments enumerated in section 31-27-2 for driving under the

influence of liquor or drugs; except for the provision of license or privilege suspension of which

the license shall be withdrawn in accordance with this chapter.

      (c) Any person violating section 31-10.3-26, relating to the license to be carried and

exhibited on demand, shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00). For a

second or subsequent conviction there shall be imposed a fine of not less than one hundred dollars

($100), and his or her commercial license or privilege shall be withdrawn for a period of one

month.

      (d) Any person violating section 31-27-1, relating to driving so as to endanger resulting

in death, or section 31-27-1.1, relating to driving so as to endanger, resulting in personal injury,

shall, upon conviction, have his or her commercial license or privilege revoked for a period of

one year. With respect to violations of sections 31-27-1 and 31-27-1.1, the commercial penalties

shall only apply while the operator is operating a commercial vehicle; should the operator be

operating a passenger vehicle, passenger penalties shall apply under sections 31-27-1 and 31-27-

1.1.

      (e) Any person violating section 31-10.3-27, relating to the limitation on the number of

driver licenses, shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor

more than twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500), and any commercial license shall be cancelled

immediately.

      (f) Any person violating section 31-10.3-28, relating to notification required by the

employee, shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more

than five hundred dollars ($500).

      (g) Any person violating section 31-10.3-29, relating to employer responsibilities, shall,

upon conviction be fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than two thousand

five hundred dollars ($2,500).

      (h) Any person violating subdivision (b)(1) of this section, relating to violations and

penalties, shall immediately cease operating any commercial vehicle for a period of twenty-four

(24) hours. Failure to do so shall result in a commercial license or privilege revocation for a

period of three (3) months and a fine of one hundred fifty dollars ($150).

      (i) Any person violating section 31-10.3-30, relating to the requirement of a commercial

driver's license, shall, upon conviction of a first offense, be fined not less than two hundred fifty

dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000); and, upon conviction of a second or

subsequent offense, be fined not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than two

thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). The person's commercial license or privilege shall be

revoked for a period of at least one year but not more than five (5) years.

      (j) The administrator may, after notice and hearing suspend a school bus driver's

certificate or privilege to obtain a certificate for a period of up to five (5) years from the date of

adjudication or conviction of the following:

      (1) Any motor vehicle driving offense committed by a school bus driver while operating

a self-propelled vehicle and which is a criminal offense in the state of Rhode Island or which, if

committed outside the state, would be considered a criminal offense if committed in the state of

Rhode Island;

      (2) Any alcohol or drug-related motor vehicle driving offense referred to in this section

and committed by a school bus operator who is operating a self-propelled vehicle.

      (k) (1) For purposes of this subsection an "Out-of-Service Order" means a declaration by

the Federal Highway Administration or an authorized enforcement officer of a federal, state,

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Canadian, Mexican or local jurisdiction that a driver of a

commercial motor vehicle or a motor carrier operation is out-of-service, pursuant to the Federal

Motor Carrier Safety Regulations contained in 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, as amended.

      (2) The term "disqualified" means the withdrawal of a person's privilege to drive a

commercial motor vehicle.

      (3) Any person who violates an out-of-service order shall be disqualified as follows

except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection:

      (i) A person shall be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for a period

of ninety (90) days if convicted of a first violation of an out-of-service order.

      (ii) A person shall be disqualified for a period of one year if convicted of a second

violation of an out-of-service order during any ten (10) year period arising from separate

incidents.

      (iii) A person shall be disqualified for a period of three (3) years if convicted of a third or

subsequent violation of an out-of-service order during any ten (10) year period arising from

separate incidents.

      (4) Any person who violates an out-of-service order while transporting hazardous

materials or while operating a commercial motor vehicle designed or used to transport fifteen (15)

or more passengers including the driver shall be disqualified as follows: (i) A person shall be

disqualified for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days if convicted of a first violation of an

out-of-service order.

      (ii) A person shall be disqualified for a period of two (2) years if convicted of a second

or subsequent violation of an out-of-service order during any ten (10) year period arising from

separate incidents.

      (5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any driver who violates

or fails to comply with an out-of-service order is subject to a penalty of one thousand dollars

($1,000) in addition to disqualification under this subsection.

      (6) Any employer who violates an out-of-service order, or who knowingly requires or

permits a driver to violate or fail to comply with an out-of-service order, is subject to a penalty of

two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500)

     (l) Disqualification for railroad-highway grade crossing violation (1) General Rule. A

driver who is convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of a federal, state, or

local law or regulation pertaining to one (1) of the following six (6) offenses at a railroad-

highway grade crossing must be disqualified for the period of time specified in subsection (l)(2)

of this section:

     (i) For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to slow down and check that

the tracks are clear of an approaching train;

     (ii) For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to stop before reaching the

crossing, if the tracks are not clear;

     (iii) For drivers who are always required to stop, failing to stop before driving onto the

crossing;

     (iv) For all drivers, failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the

crossing without stopping;

     (v) For all drivers, failing to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an

enforcement official at the crossing;

     (vi) For all drivers, failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage

clearance.

     (2) Duration of disqualification for railroad-highway grade crossing violation (i) First

violation. A driver must be disqualified for not less than sixty (60) days if the driver is convicted

of a first violation of a railroad-highway grade crossing violation.

     (ii) Second violation. A driver must be disqualified for not less than one hundred twenty

(120) days if, during any three (3) year period, the driver is convicted of a second railroad-highway

grade crossing violation in separate incidents.

     (iii) Third or subsequent violation. A driver must be disqualified for not less than one (1)

year if, during any three (3) year period, the driver is convicted of a third or subsequent railroad-

highway grade crossing violation in separate incidents.

     (3) Special penalties pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossing violations. An

employer who is convicted of a violation of section 31-10.3-29(5) is subject to a civil penalty of

not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC02441/SUB A

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