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Enrolled Version - Final Version Senate Bill 556 History

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ENROLLED

Senate Bill No. 556

(By Senators White and Stollings)

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[Passed April 11, 2009; in effect ninety days from passage.]

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AN ACT to amend and reenact §8-11-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §17B-3-6 of said code, all relating to driver education courses; allowing proof of a completed defensive driving course to rescind pending license suspension; and expanding the time which judgement can be withheld by a municipal judge while a licensee completes a driver education course .

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §8-11-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §17B-3-6 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 11. POWERS AND DUTIES WITH RESPECT TO ORDINANCES AND ORDINANCE PROCEDURES.

§8-11-5. Prejudgment alternative disposition of certain traffic offenses.

(a) Municipal courts are hereby authorized to establish a prejudgment alternative disposition procedure for traffic offenses over which the court has jurisdiction.
(b) Under a prejudgment disposition procedure authorized by subsection (a) of this section, if a person is found guilty of a traffic offense, the municipal court may, with the person's consent, withhold for a reasonable time not to exceed one hundred eighty days the entry of a judgment of conviction so that the person may attend a driver safety education course designated by the municipal court. If the person attends said course, the municipal court, if satisfied with the person's participation in the course, shall, without entering a judgment of conviction, dismiss the proceeding against the person.
(c) It shall be a condition of any prejudgment alternative disposition authorized by the provisions of this section that the person pay any fine assessed by the court and pay all fees and costs required to be paid by any provision of this code where a person is convicted of a criminal traffic offense. No municipal court shall utilize any prejudgment alternative disposition procedure unless it collects such fees and costs as are required by any provision of this code and transmits the moneys collected as required by law. No municipal court shall utilize any prejudgment alternative disposition procedure unless it conforms with the requirements of this section.
(d) The procedure authorized by the provisions of this section shall not be available to any person who:
(1) Holds a commercial driver's license issued by this state in accordance with chapter seventeen-e of this code, or who holds a commercial driver's license issued by any other state or jurisdiction;
(2) Is arrested while operating a commercial motor vehicle as defined in chapter seventeen-e of this code; or
(3) Is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or any other offense for which a mandatory period of confinement in jail is required.
ARTICLE 3. CANCELLATION, SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSES.
§17B-3-6. Authority of division to suspend or revoke license; hearing.

(a) The division is hereby authorized to suspend the driver's license of any person without preliminary hearing upon a showing by its records or other sufficient evidence that the licensee:
(1) Has committed an offense for which mandatory revocation of a driver's license is required upon conviction;
(2) Has by reckless or unlawful operation of a motor vehicle, caused or contributed to an accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another or property damage;
(3) Has been convicted with such frequency of serious offenses against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles as to indicate a disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highways;
(4) Is an habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle;
(5) Is incompetent to drive a motor vehicle;
(6) Has committed an offense in another state which if committed in this state would be a ground for suspension or revocation;
(7) Has failed to pay or has defaulted on a plan for the payment of all costs, fines, forfeitures or penalties imposed by a magistrate court or municipal court within ninety days, as required by section two-a, article three, chapter fifty of this code or section two-a, article ten, chapter eight of this code;
(8) Has failed to appear or otherwise respond before a magistrate court or municipal court when charged with a motor vehicle violation as defined in section three-a of this article;
(9) Is under the age of eighteen and has withdrawn either voluntarily or involuntarily due to misconduct from a secondary school or has failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress, as provided in section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code; or
(10) Has failed to pay overdue child support or comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings, if a circuit court has ordered the suspension of the license as provided in article five-a, chapter forty-eight-a of this code and the Child Support Enforcement Division has forwarded to the division a copy of the court order suspending the license, or has forwarded its certification that the licensee has failed to comply with a new or modified order that stayed the suspension and provided for the payment of current support and any arrearage due.
(b) The driver's license of any person having his or her license suspended shall be reinstated if:
(1) The license was suspended under the provisions of subdivision (7), subsection (a) of this section and the payment of costs, fines, forfeitures or penalties imposed by the applicable court has been made;
(2) The license was suspended under the provisions of subdivision (8), subsection (a) of this section and the person having his or her license suspended has appeared in court and has prevailed against the motor vehicle violations charged; or
(3) The license was suspended under the provisions of subdivision (10), subsection (a) of this section and the division has received a court order restoring the license or a certification by the Child Support Enforcement Division that the licensee is complying with the original support order or a new or modified order that provides for the payment of current support and any arrearage due.
(c) Any reinstatement of a license under subdivision (1), (2) or (3), subsection (b) of this section shall be subject to a reinstatement fee designated in section nine of this article.
(d) Upon suspending the driver's license of any person as hereinbefore in this section authorized, the division shall immediately notify the licensee in writing, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address given by the licensee in applying for license, and upon his or her request shall afford him or her an opportunity for a hearing as early as practical within not to exceed twenty days after receipt of such request in the county wherein the licensee resides unless the division and the licensee agree that such hearing may be held in some other county. Upon such hearing the commissioner or his or her duly authorized agent may administer oaths and may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant books and papers and may require a reexamination of the licensee. Upon such hearing the division shall either rescind its order of suspension or, good cause appearing therefor, may extend the suspension of such license or revoke such license. The provisions of this subsection providing for notice and hearing are not applicable to a suspension under subdivision (10), subsection (a) of this section.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of legislative rule 91 CSR 5, the division may, upon completion of an approved defensive driving course, deduct three points from a licensee's point accumulation provided the licensee has not reached fourteen points. If a licensee has been notified of a pending thirty-day driver's license suspension based on the accumulation of twelve or thirteen points, the licensee may submit proof of completion of an approved defensive driving course to deduct three points and rescind the pending license suspension: Provided, That the licensee submits proof of prior completion of the course and payment of the reinstatement fee in accordance with section nine, article three of this chapter to the division prior to the effective date of the suspension.
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