S 520. Statement of findings and declaration of purpose. The ever-increasing number of accidents, personal injuries and deaths resulting from alcohol or drug-related traffic offenses is a matter of great concern to the legislature. The diminished perception of intoxicated and impaired operators of motor vehicles presents a constant and intolerable threat to the lives and well-being of the citizens of the state. Efforts aimed at alleviating this threat have proven inadequate. The public interest in the cause of highway safety will be well served by the implementation of a permanent program of rehabilitation for those operators convicted of alcohol or drug-related traffic offenses and certain operators who have been adjudicated youthful offenders for alcohol or drug-related traffic offenses. The commissioner of motor vehicles should have the authority to offer to such operators an opportunity for rehabilitation, thereby reducing the threat aimed at themselves and the people of the state. S 523. Reports. The commissioner shall report to the governor and to the legislature annually with respect to the status of the alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, including therein, among other things, the scope and results of procedures for screening and referral of program participants exhibiting an early stage, of alcoholism or chronic life problem with alcohol, providing that such report shall not contain the name of or otherwise identify participants in such program. S 523-a. Driver improvement clinic programs. In addition to the driver rehabilitation program authorized by section eleven hundred ninety-six of this chapter, the commissioner may establish, by regulation, guidelines for alcohol and highway safety programs. The purpose of such programs should be to inform participants of the effects of alcohol on driving, to discuss problem drinking and its effects, to provide assistance to individuals with referral to alcoholism treatment agencies and to provide instruction with respect to proper driving techniques and driver attitude. The commissioner shall establish criteria for requiring attendance at such clinics, and may, pending attendance at such clinic, suspend the driver's license or privilege of any person who fails to attend such clinic as required by such regulations. Such criteria may provide for the required attendance at such clinic of any person who, as a result of the conviction for a moving traffic violation, is referred by the trial court for such attendance. The commissioner shall establish a fee to be paid by any person who attends any such program. Such fee shall be used to defray the ongoing expenses of the program. Where the commissioner has approved any driver improvement program conducted by local authorities, any such fee shall be paid to the agency conducting such program. S 523-b. Experimental driver safety programs. The commissioner may study the feasibility of programs to improve driver behavior, attitude, performance or skills in order to reduce motor vehicle accidents and traffic violations, and to promote highway safety. He shall have the authority to establish such programs on a limited, experimental basis in order to assist in such feasibility study provided any such program is funded by any source other than state funds, or if any such program is to be funded with state funds, then he may establish such program only with the approval of the director of the division of the budget. Top of Page
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