House Bill No. 242

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________



A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act establishing a $5 penalty for the first offense of a violation of 61-8-303, the basic rule speed limit; requiring that officers are instructed to welcome out-of-state visitors, inform motorists of Montana's speed limit laws, and advise motorists that future violations will result in greater penalties; and amending section 61-8-711, MCA."



Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:



Section 1.  Section 61-8-711, MCA, is amended to read:

"61-8-711.   Violation of chapter -- penalty. (1) It Except for a first violation of 61-8-303 as provided in subsection (6), it is a misdemeanor for a person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter unless the violation is declared to be a felony.

(2)  Each A person convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter for which another penalty is not provided shall for a first conviction be punished by a fine of not less than $10 or more than $100. For a second conviction within 1 year after the first conviction, the person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $200. Upon a third or subsequent conviction within 1 year after the first conviction, the person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50 or more than $500.

(3)  Except as provided in subsection (4), failure to pay a fine imposed under this chapter is a civil contempt of the court. On failure of payment of a fine, the court may:

(a)  order enforcement of the fine by execution in the manner provided in 25-13-204 and under the provisions of Title 25, chapter 13; or

(b)  if the court finds that the person is unable to pay, order the person to perform community service.

(4)  If property is not found in an amount necessary to satisfy the unpaid portion of the fine and if the court makes a written finding that community service is inappropriate, the person shall be imprisoned in the county jail in the county in which the offense was committed, and the imprisonment shall be the number of days that the fine is divisible by the dollar amount of the incarceration credit contained in 46-18-403.

(5)  Upon conviction, the court costs or any part of the court costs may be assessed against the defendant in the discretion of the court.

(6) (a) A person violating the basic rule speed limit imposed pursuant to 61-8-303 shall be fined $5 for the first offense, and a jail sentence may not be imposed.

(b) A first violation of 61-8-303 is not a misdemeanor pursuant to 61-8-104.

(c) A first violation of 61-8-303 may not be charged against the driver's record, an insurance company may not hold a first violation of 61-8-303 against the insured, and there may not be an increase in premiums due to a first violation of 61-8-303.

(d) After the first violation, a person violating the provisions of 61-8-303 is subject to the penalties governing second, third, and subsequent convictions as provided in subsection (2) of this section."



NEW SECTION. Section 2.  First offense of basic rule -- notice to offender. (1) The department of justice shall instruct officers to inform motorists of Montana's speed limit laws in a professional and courteous manner, welcome out-of-state visitors, and inform motorists that future violations will result in increased penalties.



NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Codification instruction. [Section 2] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 61, chapter 8, part 7, and the provisions of Title 61, chapter 8, part 7, apply to [section 2].

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