2005 Regular Session
By: Representative Myers
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 63-1-51 AND 63-1-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW A PERSON WITH A SUSPENDED DRIVER'S LICENSE WHICH HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES TO PARTICIPATE IN A PAYMENT PLAN; TO AUTHORIZE REINSTATEMENT OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE WHILE PARTICIPATING IN SUCH PLAN; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-1-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-51. (1) It shall be the duty of the trial judge, upon conviction of any person holding a license issued pursuant to this article where the penalty for a traffic violation is as much as Ten Dollars ($10.00), to mail a copy of abstract of the court record or provide an electronically or computer generated copy of abstract of the court record immediately to the commissioner at Jackson, Mississippi, showing the date of conviction, penalty, etc., so that a record of same may be made by the Department of Public Safety. The commissioner shall forthwith revoke the license of any person for a period of one (1) year upon receiving a duly certified record of each person's convictions of any of the following offenses when such conviction has become final:
(a) Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
(b) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
(c) Failure to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another;
(d) Perjury or the willful making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the department under this article or under any other law relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles;
(e) Conviction, or forfeiture of bail not vacated, upon three (3) charges of reckless driving committed within a period of twelve (12) months;
(f) Contempt for failure to pay a fine or fee or to respond to a summons or citation pursuant to a charge of a violation of this title.
(2) The commissioner shall revoke the license issued pursuant to this article of any person convicted of negligent homicide, in addition to any penalty now provided by law.
(3) In addition to the reasons specified in this section, the commissioner shall be authorized to suspend the license issued to any person pursuant to this article for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this article, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
(4) A person who has had a license suspended under subsection (1)(f) of this section shall be eligible for the payment reinstatement plan as provided in Section 63-1-53(4).
SECTION 2. Section 63-1-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-53. (1) Upon failure of any person to respond timely and properly to a summons or citation charging such person with any violation of this title, or upon failure of any person to pay timely any fine, fee or assessment levied as a result of any violation of this title, the clerk of the court shall give written notice to such person by United States first class mail at his last known address advising such person that if within ten (10) days after such notice is deposited in the mail the person has not properly responded to the summons or citation or has not paid the entire amount of all fines, fees and assessments levied, then the court will give notice thereof to the Commissioner of Public Safety and the commissioner may suspend the driver's license of such person. The actual cost incurred by the court in the giving of such notice may be added to any other court costs assessed in such case. If within ten (10) days after the notice is given in accordance with this subsection such person has not satisfactorily disposed of the matter pending before the court, then the clerk of the court immediately shall mail a copy of the abstract of the court record, along with a certified copy of the notice given under this subsection, to the Commissioner of Public Safety, and the commissioner may suspend the driver's license of such person as authorized under subsections (2) and (3) of this section.
(2) The commissioner is hereby authorized to suspend the license of an operator without preliminary hearing upon a showing by his records or other sufficient evidence that the licensee:
(a) Has committed an offense for which mandatory revocation of license is required upon conviction except under the provisions of the Mississippi Implied Consent Law;
(b) Has been involved as a driver in any accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another or serious property damage;
(c) Is an habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle;
(d) 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;
(e) Is incompetent to drive a motor vehicle;
(f) Has permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of such license;
(g) Has committed an offense in another state which if committed in this state would be grounds for suspension or revocation;
(h) Has failed to pay any fine, fee or other assessment levied as a result of any violation of this title;
(i) Has failed to respond to a summons or citation which charged a violation of this title; or
(j) Has committed a violation for which mandatory revocation of license is required upon conviction, entering a plea of nolo contendere to, or adjudication of delinquency, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of Section 63-1-71.
(3) Notice that a person's license is suspended or will be suspended under subsection (2) of this section shall be given by the commissioner in the manner and at the time provided for under Section 63-1-52, and upon such person's request, he shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing as early as practical within not to exceed twenty (20) days after receipt of such request in the county wherein the licensee resides unless the department and the licensee agree that such hearing may be held in some other county. Upon such hearing the commissioner, or his 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 commissioner shall either rescind any order of suspension or, good cause appearing therefor, may extend any suspension of such license or revoke such license.
(4) A person whose license has been suspended, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) or paragraph (h) of subsection (2) of this section or subsection (1)(f) of Section 63-1-51, subject to the approval of the court, may pay any local fines or costs arising from such convictions or for failure to appear in any court by establishing a payment plan with the local court or the court clerk of the jurisdiction.
(5) The commissioner may reinstate a person's driving privileges when such person provides the department with certification from the local court or court clerk of the jurisdiction that such person has entered into a payment plan with the local court or the court clerk of the jurisdiction and has satisfied all other provisions of law relating to the issuance and restoration of a driver's license.
(6) The commission, upon notice of such person's failure to comply with any payment plan established pursuant to this section, shall suspend the license of such person. Persons who default under this section shall not be eligible for any future payment plans under this section. The commission shall notify the person in writing of the proposed suspension and, upon request of such person within thirty (30) days of such notification, shall provide the person an opportunity for a hearing to show that such person has, in fact, complied with the local court's or the court clerk's payment plan. Failure to make such request within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification shall constitute, without exception, a waiver of such right.
(7) Any person who has defaulted on a pay plan to pay fines and costs for suspension actions taken shall not be eligible to participate in a payment plan nor shall the Department of Public Safety have the authority to accept a payment plan as a condition precedent to the restoration of driving privileges.
(8) Any county that participates in the payment plan authorized by the provisions of this section shall pay to the state any expense required to be paid for state implementation of such payment plan. Such payment shall be divided pro rata among the counties to which the plan applies. Such payment shall be made before the implementation by the county of the provisions of House Bill No. 997, 2005 Regular Session.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.