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Introduced Version House Bill 4162 History

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hb4162 intr
H. B. 4162


(By Delegates Reynolds, Stephens, Craig,

Morgan, Rodighiero, Miley, Hrutkay, Eldridge,

Ellis, Boggs and Perdue)

[Introduced January 24, 2008; referred to the

Committee on Roads and Transportation then the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §17C-14-15, relating to leaving children unattended or unsupervised in motor vehicles; penalty; and the authority of a law-enforcement officer.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §17C-14-15, to read as follows:

ARTICLE 14. MISCELLANEOUS RULES.

§17C-14-15. Leaving children unattended or unsupervised in motor vehicles; penalty; authority of law-enforcement officer.
(a) A parent, legal guardian or other person responsible for a child younger than six years of age may not leave such child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle:
(1) For a period in excess of fifteen minutes;
(2) For any period of time if the motor vehicle is running or the health of the child is in danger.
(b) Any person violating the provisions of subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or confined in jail not more than sixty days, or both fined and confined.
(c) Any person violating the provisions of subdivision (2), subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars and not more than five hundred dollars.
(d) Any person who violates subsection (a) and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to a child is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned in a state correctional facility not more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.
(e) (1) Any law-enforcement officer who observes a child left unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (a) may use whatever means are reasonably necessary to protect the minor child and to remove the child from the vehicle.
(2) If the child is removed from the immediate area, notification shall be placed on the vehicle.
(3) The child shall be remanded to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Resources pursuant to article two, chapter forty-nine, unless the law-enforcement officer is able to locate the parents or legal guardian or other person responsible for the child.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish leaving children unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle as a crime; to establish penalties; and to allow law-enforcement officers to take necessary steps to protect children left unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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