New California DUI Laws: 1996 Vehicle Code Changes

From Court News, November 1996

The following changes were bills that were passed by the Legislature
and signed into law by the Governor. These laws will go into affect in
1997.


  1. Financial Responsibility – AB 650 Speier – CH 1126
    Vehicle Code 1680, 4000.37, 16020, 16028, 16029, 16030, 16033, 16070,
    16071, 160457, 40611
    Requires proof of financial responsibility when applying for a vehicle
    renewal registration, and makes the failure to provide a peace officer
    with proof of financial responsibilty an infraction rather than a
    misdeameanor. Makes permissive the requirement for a court to impound a
    vehicle if the driver is unable to produce evidence of finanical
    responsibility, and provides that the vehicle may be released to either
    the legal or registered owner under specified conditions. Sunsets
    January 1, 2000.
    See AB 650
  2. DUI: Failure to Appear – AB 1579 Leonard – CH 224
    Vehicle Code 1822, 12807, 12808, 13365.2, 40509, 40509.5
    Requires the court to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of
    a failure to appear in specified driving-under-the-influence offenses.
    Provides that the DMV, upon notification, shall immediately suspend the
    driver’s license of a person who has failed to appear in specified DUI
    offenses.
  3. Driver’s License Suspension – AB 95 Bowler – CH 956
    Vehicle Code 13202.3, 14907 Requires the court to notify the DMV of
    convictions of specified controlled substance offenses.
  4. Speed Contest – AB 2288 Aguiar – CH 884
    Permits a police offier who arrests a person involved in speed contest
    to immediately seize and remove the vehicle used and to impound it for
    30 days.
  5. DUI Penalties – AB 2000 – Goldsmith – CH 690
    Makes it a misdemeanor for a person under 21 to knowingly drive a
    motor vehicle carrying any alcoholic beverages unless the person is
    accompanied by a parent, responsible adult, relative, or other adult
    designated by the parent.
  6. Amnesty Program – AB 3095 Villaraigosa – AB 3095
    Authorizes any county on a one-time basis and for a minimum of 120
    days to operate a traffic fine amnesty program for matters that are
    delinquent at least six months prior to the program’s
    commencement.
  7. Weight Violations – AB 2345 Morrissey – CH 456
  8. Graffiti – AB 2331 Goldsmith – CH 918
  9. Unlawful Possession of Vehicle Documents – AB 95 Bowler – CH
    956
  10. Fleeing a Peace Officer – AB 1999 – Knight – CH 420
  11. Disabled Persons License Plate – SB 1527 – CH 116

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