Missouri - New Driving Laws Target DUI, Texting and More
By admin • Aug 25th, 2009 • Category: NewsDISCLAIMER - Any Charges Reported in these Press Releases are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.
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New Laws Affecting Vehicle Operation
The Missouri General Assembly recently enacted new legislation affecting vehicle operation, and Governor Jay Nixon has signed the legislation into law. Some of the laws contained an emergency clause and went into effect upon the signing; others will go into effect August 28, 2009. The Patrol wishes to make the public aware of these new laws or changes to increase public awareness and education of motor vehicle laws.
HB 62 — CRIME BILL
Signed on July 9, 2009, the statute allows a judge to order a person who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of an intoxication-related traffic offense to abstain from consuming or using alcohol as demonstrated by continuous alcohol monitoring or verifiable breath alcohol testing as a condition of probation (Section 577.023 RSMo.). This section of the bill contained an emergency clause and was effective upon the signing.
FIVE YEAR DENIAL — Specifies that any person convicted of two intoxication-related traffic offenses (as defined in Section 577.023.1(4) RSMo.) within a five-year period will be denied all driving privileges for five years, and removes the requirement that the defendant be represented / waive representation by an attorney (Section 302.060 RSMo.). The provisions for the 10-year/life denial for three or more DWI convictions did not change.
FRAUDULANT INSURANCE CARD — Any person who knowingly or intentionally produces, manufactures, sells, or otherwise distributes a fraudulent document intended to serve as a motor vehicle insurance identification card will be guilty of a class D felony and any person who knowingly or intentionally possesses a fraudulent card will be guilty of a class B misdemeanor (Section 303.024 RSMo.).
TEXTING WHILE DRIVING — Any person 21 years of age or younger who operates a moving motor vehicle while sending, reading, or writing a text or electronic message by means of a hand-held electronic wireless communications device will be guilty of an infraction (Section 304.820 RSMo.).
CONSENT TO CHEMCAL TEST — Any person younger than 21 years of age who purchases, attempts to purchase, or has in his or her possession any intoxicating liquor or who is visibly in an intoxicated condition will be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s breath, blood, saliva, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of the person’s blood (Section 311.325 RSMo.).
HB 93 — TRACTOR PARADES (emergency clause)
The first legislation signed into law this year, this bill contained an emergency clause and went into effect on the date of its signing, May 29, 2009. This bill exempts tractors driven by licensed drivers during daylight hours on specified parade routes for fund-raising activities and other special events from certain width, height, length, and registration regulations with the approval of the superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It modified Sections 304.170 and 304.260 RSMo.
HB 253 — MOTORCYCLE HEADLAMP MODULATORS
Signed on 7/07, this bill creates a new law (Section 307.128 RSMo) that allows motorcycle headlamps to be fitted with a modulating device on either the upper beam or the lower beam. The modulator will vary the intensity of the headlamp from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity at a rate of 240 cycles per minute (+/- 40 cycles per minute). Additional technical standards for the modulation are specified in the bill.
HB 683 — TRANSPORTATION BILL
MOTOR VEHICLE TAX COLLECTION (Sections 32.095, 144.060, 144.070, 301.280, and 301.562 RSMo.) — Beginning January 1, 2012, the bill allows the director of the Department of Revenue to appoint any motor vehicle dealer to act as an agent for the department for the purpose of titling and registering a motor vehicle at the time of the initial sale or lease. Beginning July 1, 2010, dealers may apply to the department director to collect the sales and use tax on all vehicles sold by the dealer. If authorized, the dealer must file a return and remit the tax collected, less a 2% timely filing deduction, to the department. Dealers will not be eligible for fee office fees or general revenue funds for collecting and remitting motor vehicle sales taxes. Dealers will be subject to the sales tax law under Chapter 144, RSMo., and must file a monthly sales tax report pursuant to Section 301.280 RSMo.
ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES (Section 301.010 RSMo.) — The bill revises the definition of “all-terrain vehicle” (ATV) by increasing the vehicle’s unladen dry weight from 1,000 pounds to 1,500 pounds and by specifying that an ATV is a vehicle with four or more nonhighway tires (currently “low pressure” tires) and creates a new class of vehicle by defining a “recreational off-highway vehicle” as any motorized vehicle manufactured and used exclusively for off-highway use which is 60 inches or less in width, with an unladen dry weight of 1,850 pounds or less, traveling on four or more nonhighway tires, with a nonstraddle seat and steering wheel which may use all-terrain vehicle trail use.
OPERATION OF GOLF CARTS OR MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIRS ON STREETS (Section 304.034 RSMo.) — The governing body of any municipality by resolution or ordinance may allow a person to operate a golf cart or motorized wheelchair on any street under its jurisdiction. A golf cart or motorized wheelchair cannot be operated at any time on any state or federal highway, but may cross a portion of the state highway system which intersects a municipal street except at an intersection where the highway being crossed has a posted speed limit of more than 45 miles per hour.
A golf cart operated on a city street must be equipped with adequate brakes and must meet any other safety requirements imposed by the governing body, but will not be subject to registration.
“Golf cart” means a motor vehicle designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.
TOWING ABANDONED VEHICLES (Section 304.155 RSMo.) — Currently, property on the right-of-way on any highway or freeway outside of an urbanized area is not considered abandoned until it has been there for 48 hours. This bill lowers that time requirement to 24 hours. The bill authorizes law enforcement officers to tow a vehicle abandoned by a person who eludes arrest for an alleged offense for which the officer would have taken the offender into custody. It also allows officers to immediately remove abandoned property from the right-of-way of any interstate, freeway, or state highway if the abandoned property is creating a traffic hazard.
MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY INSPECTIONS (Section 307.350 RSMo.) — Motor vehicles will be exempt from the state motor vehicle safety inspection requirement for the five-year period following their model year of manufacture. This exemption does not apply to a prior salvage vehicle immediately following a rebuilding process or to a motor vehicle that is required to undergo an inspection after being involved in an accident. Vehicles registered in excess of 24,000 pounds for a period of less than 12 months also will be exempt. These provisions will become effective January 1, 2010.
MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL a division of the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Public Information And Education Division — P. O. Box 568 — Jefferson City, Missouri
For further information please contact: Captain J. T. “Tim” Hull
August 24, 2009
EMPHASIS: New Laws Affecting Vehicle Operation