Date Requested:March 17, 2005
Time Requested:01:40 PM
Agency: Motor Vehicles, Division of
CBD Number: Version: Bill Number: Resolution Number:
2005R1721 Intro SB579
CBD Subject: DMV Revocation Hearings Eliminated
FUND(S)
Road Fund
Sources of Revenue
Other Fund Road Fund
Legislation creates:
Neither Program nor Fund

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the administrative procedures for the revocation of a driver's license for driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance or drugs and to provide instead for a judicial procedure for revoking the license for a person arrested and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance or drugs. The bill also provides a procedure for the court to reinstate the driver's license of a person who completes a rehabilitation program.
    
    During FY2004, the Division revoked the driving privileges of 9,189 individuals for DUI's based on receipt of the arresting officers affidavit of arrest. Administrative hearings were held for 3,025 of those charged. The Division is notified each year of approximately 3,000 DUI convictions from magistrate, municipal and circuit courts.
    
    This bill eliminates all the DUI hearings covered under Chapter 17C-5A of the WV code. This represents approximately 76% of all administrative hearings conducted by the Division during fiscal year 2004.
    
    The Legislation requires DMV to continue to conduct hearings for implied consent DUI's and for non-DUI related matters. During the past fiscal year, the Division held 732 implied consent DUI hearings and 239 hearings for motor vehicle dealer revocations, complusory insurance, medical suspensions and other non-DUI matters.
    
    Although this bill eliminates the administrative hearing for revocations under 17C-5A-2, it does not eliminate DMV's involvement in the DUI process.
    
    Several new procedures will have to be developed to establish communication between the Division and the courts.
    
    The courts will not have access to prior DUI convictions. The Division will have to maintain its file room and develop a means to respond to the various court inquiries regarding prior convictions.
    
    In addition to researching the files for prior DUI convictions, the Division estimates that the number of DMV court appearances will increase. Division personnel currently make an estimated 100 court appearances a year to authenticate a DUI file. The Division estimates that since the courts do not have records of prior convictions, the number of appearances will increase to approximately 1,000 per year.
    
    Upon successful completion of the required steps to reinstate a driver's license, the individual may petition the courts to reinstate his/her license. The DMV will have to notify the courts that the individual has successfully completed the Safety and Treatment Program. In turn, after being notified, the courts will need to communicate back to DMV to reinstate the driver's license.
    
    These new operational procedures will result in the reclassification of the current clerical staff to handling telephone calls and researching DUI files.
    
    This bill eliminates the provision that allows the Division to hold administrative hearings in regional locations. Eliminating the use of the Division's Regional Offices will mean the hearings will be held int he county where the individual resides. Also eliminated is the provision in 17C-5A-2(b) that allows 180 days hold the hearing unless a continuance is requested. Eliminating this part will require the Division to follow the provisions of 17B-3-6 and set remaining hearings twenty days after the individual makes a request. This section does not allow for continuances. This will result in the need for more staff to prepare the files and additional hearing examiners to hold the hearings and comply with the twenty day deadline.
    
    Eliminating 76% of the of the administrative hearings will not eliminate a proportional share of the Division's cost to hold these hearings.
    
    Although the Division agrees that positions can be deleted and cost reduced, the Division does question whether this is in the best interest of public safety.
    
    With its current staff and following 17C-5A-2(b) the Division continues some hearings past the 6 month deadline because of the over crowded docket. The Division feels that retaining a larger portion of the staff will be required in order to schedule hearings to meet the 20 day deadline as noted in 17B-3-6. Also eliminating the Division's ability to hold hearings in the Regional Offices will increase the number of hearing examiners that are needed. Hearings will be held in each county the individual lives in. This will require more travel time on the part of the hearing examiners.
    
    The Division estimates that approximately 6 positions could be eliminated. With associated operating expenses, the Division estimates that total reduction in cost to be $315,322.
    
    If the bill was amended to preserve the ability to hold hearings in Regional Offices instead of county of residence, within 180 days, the Division estimates that 11 positions could be eliminated with a reduction in cost of $630,804.
    
    Revenue collected for holding DUI hearings will be impacted. 17C-5A-2(a) eliminates the $10.00 hearing fee and the witness fee charged for the hearings conducted under this section.
    
    The estimated loss of revenue will be $30,250 in docket fees. The witness fee is held by the Division and paid to participating witness.

Fiscal Note Detail
Over-all effect
Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
2005
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
2006
Increase/Decrease
(use"-")
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
Implementation)
1. Estmated Total Cost -315,322 -315,322 -315,322
Personal Services -235,830 -235,830 -235,830
Current Expenses -79,492 -79,492 -79,492
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0
2. Estimated Total Revenues -30,250 -30,250 -30,250
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
    Estimated reduction in current operating expenses for DUI hearings after eliminating 17C-5A:
    
    Personal Services
     Hearing Examiners 4 @ $31,620 $126,480
     Clerical 2 @ $19,800 $ 39,600
    
    Personal Services $166,080
    
    Benefits .42 x salaries $ 69,750
    
    Operating Expenses
     Vehicle Rental 4 cars x 4,908/year $ 19,632
     Vehicle Operating Expense 4 x 7,200 $ 28,800
     Phones 4 x 380 $ 1,520
     PC licenses 4 x 300 $ 1,200
     Postage - certified 3,025 x $4.41 $ 13,340
     Envelopes, files, paper 3,025 hearings $ 10,000
     Digital imaging of files $ 5,000
    
    Total Current Expenses $ 79,492
    
    Total anticipated reduction in cost $315,322
    
    Estimated reduction in cost if the provision to hold hearings in the regional offices within 180 days remains in the law:
    
    Personal Services
     Hearing Examiners 7 @ $31,620 $221,340
     Clerical 2 @ $19,800 $ 39,600
     Attorney 1 @ $57,852 $ 57,852
     Manager 1 @ $42,456 $ 42,456
    
    Total Personal Services $151,700
    
    Operating Expenses
     Vehicle Rental 7 cars x 4,908/year $ 34,356
     Vehicle Operating Expense 7 x 7,200 $ 50,400
     Phones 7 x 380 $ 2,660
     PC licenses 7 x 300 $ 2,100
     Postage - certified 3,025 x $4.41 $ 13,340
     Envelopes, files, paper 3,025 hearings $ 10,000
     Digital imaging of files $ 5,000
    
    Total Currnt Expenses $117,856
    
    Total anticipated reduction in cost $630,804
    
    Revenue reduction:
     No. of hearing eliminated 3,025
     Docket Fee $10.00
    
    Total Revenue Reduction $30,250
    


Memorandum
Person submitting Fiscal Note:
Richard M. Johnston
Email Address:
rjohnston@dot.state.wv.us