V C Section 23249.50 Legislative Intent

Legislative Intent

23249.50.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) Driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug is a serious problem, constituting the largest group of misdemeanor violations in many counties.

(2) Studies of first offenders have found that more than half of first offenders are alcoholics or problem drinkers. There are higher percentages of problem drinkers among second offenders than among first offenders.

(3) As the link between the health and legal aspects of the problem has become recognized, the courts have sought more information on a presentence basis in determining the appropriate sentence.

(4) Laws relating to driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug allow the courts to order a presentence investigation to determine whether a person can benefit from an education, training, or treatment program. The Legislature thus finds that, to adequately assess whether an individual arrested for driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug is chemically dependent, it is important to develop and implement screening programs in order to continue to address the problem of driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs in the state.

(b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to establish an additional procedure to assist the courts in the use of presentence investigations of individuals convicted of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug and to enable the courts to make appropriate dispositions in these cases. As part of this process, the courts should obtain and consider a presentence investigation report detailing the defendant's driving and criminal record, and, where possible, an alcohol or drug problem assessment report. In all cases, an alcohol or drug problem assessment report should be completed by qualified personnel prior to the determination of an education or treatment plan and subsequent sentencing by the courts.

Repealed and Added, Ch. 160, Stats. 1988. Effective January 1, 1989.