2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Tollison
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-1-79, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE AND CLARIFY THE CONDITIONS PERTAINING TO DIABETICS WHO ARE ENTITLED TO A COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-1-79, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-79. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this article, no person shall be issued a commercial driver's license under this article unless that person is a resident of this state, is twenty-one (21) years of age or older, has passed a knowledge and skills test for driving a commercial motor vehicle which complies with minimum standards established by applicable federal regulations, and has satisfied all other requirements of the CMVSA in addition to other requirements imposed by state law or federal regulation. The tests shall be prescribed and conducted by the Commissioner of Public Safety. Notwithstanding the minimum age requirements for issuance of a commercial driver's license under this article, any person seventeen (17) years of age or older who otherwise meets all requirements for issuance of a commercial driver's license may be issued a commercial driver's license with an endorsement thereon which authorizes the licensee to drive a commercial motor vehicle within the geographic boundaries of this state only.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Commissioner of Public Safety may authorize another person, including an agency, department, institution, political subdivision or instrumentality of this or another state, an employer, a private driver training facility or other private institution, to administer the skills test specified by this section, provided:
(a) The test is the same which would otherwise be administered by the Commissioner of Public Safety; and
(b) Such person has entered into an agreement with this state which complies with requirements of applicable federal regulations.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall waive the knowledge test and/or skills test specified in this section for a commercial driver's license applicant who meets any waiver requirements of applicable federal regulations.
(4) A commercial driver's license or commercial driver instruction permit shall not be issued to a person while the person is subject to a disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle or while the person's driver's license is suspended, revoked or cancelled in any state; nor may a commercial driver's license be issued to a person who has a commercial driver's license issued by any other state unless the person first surrenders all such licenses, which must be returned to the issuing state or states for cancellation.
(5) (a) A commercial driver instruction permit may be issued to an individual who has passed the vision and written tests required for the class of commercial driver's license applied for under this article.
(b) Unless the Commissioner of Public Safety waives the skills test for a commercial driver's license applicant as provided under this article, any person applying for a commercial driver's license under this article shall be required to obtain a commercial driver instruction permit before applying for or obtaining such commercial driver's license.
(c) A commercial driver instruction permit shall not be issued for a period to exceed six (6) months. Only three (3) renewals shall be granted within a three-year period. The holder of a commercial driver instruction permit may, unless otherwise disqualified, drive a commercial motor vehicle only when accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver's license valid for the type of vehicle driven who occupies a seat beside the individual for the purpose of giving instruction in driving the commercial motor vehicle.
(6) Notwithstanding any requirement imposed by state law or state or federal regulations restricting the issuance of a commercial driver's license to a person with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus, a person with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus may be issued a commercial driver's license if the person otherwise meets all qualifications for issuance provided:
(a) The driver is physically examined every year * * * by a board-certified/eligible endocrinologist attesting to the fact that the driver * * *:
(i) 1. a. Has had no recurrent hypoglycemic reactions resulting in a loss of consciousness or seizure within the past five (5) years;
b. Has had no recurrent hypoglycemic reactions requiring the assistance of another person within the past five (5) years;
c. Has had no recurrent hypoglycemic reactions resulting in impaired cognitive function which occurred without warning symptoms within the past five (5) years;
2. "Recurrent hypoglycemic reaction" means two or more in any twelve-month period; a period of one (1) year of demonstrated stability following an episode of hypoglycemia is required for two (2) successive hypoglycemic reactions not to be considered recurrent;
(ii) Is able to and has demonstrated willingness to properly monitor and manage the person's diabetes; and
(iii) Is not likely to suffer any diminution in driving ability due to the person's diabetic condition.
(b) The driver is physically examined every year by an ophthalmologist or optometrist to ensure that the driver has no proliferative diabetic retinopathy or other clinically significant eye disease;
(c) The driver agrees to and complies with the following conditions:
(i) A source of rapidly absorbable glucose shall be carried at all times while driving;
(ii) Blood glucose levels shall be self-monitored one (1) hour prior to driving and at least once every four (4) hours while driving or on duty prior to driving using a portable glucose monitoring device equipped with a computerized memory. If glucose is equal to or greater than 100mg/dl, glucose or food shall be taken, with glucose rechecked in thirty (30) minutes. This process must be repeated until glucose is less than 100 mg/dl. The person shall not drive until glucose is less than 100 mg/dl;
(iii) Submit blood glucose logs to the endocrinologist or medical examiner at the annual examination or when otherwise directed by the Department of Public Safety;
(iv) Provide a copy of the endocrinologist's report to the medical examiner at the time of the annual medical examination; and
(v) Provide a copy of the annual medical certification to the person's employer for retention in the driver's qualification file and retain a copy of the certification on his person while driving for presentation to a duly authorized federal, state or local enforcement official.
(d) The commercial license issued under this subsection (6) will bear an endorsement restricting commercial driving on the license to driving only within the boundaries of Mississippi. SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.