Colorado Legislative Council Staff



Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0255

Rep. Chavez


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

January 11, 1999

House Transportation & Energy

Susan Colling (303-866-4784)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

General FundGeneral Fund

Cash FundCash Fund Exempt

Federal Fund

Fine Revenue

Fine Revenue

State Expenditures

General Fund



FTE Position Change

0.0 FTE

0.0 FTE

Other State Impact: TABOR

Effective Date: August 4, 1999

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000: None.

Local Government Impact: See Local Government Impact Section.

Summary of Legislation

            The bill prohibits any person who is in the passenger area of a vehicle that is on a public highway or right-of-way of a public highway to knowingly drink or possess an open alcoholic beverage container. The bill makes this violation a class A traffic infraction and specifies the penalties and surcharges that apply to this violation. It also creates an exception for passengers in a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation or a house coach, house trailer, motor home, or trailer coach.

State Revenues

            The bill makes the violation of an open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of a motor vehicle a class A traffic infraction. Under the provisions of the bill, such an infraction carries a fine of $50.00 and an additional $6.00 surcharge, for a total of $56.00. Any revenue collected from a traffic citation issued by the Colorado State Patrol, county sheriff, or a municipal peace officer filing in the county court would be deposited into the HUTF. Money's collected as a result oftheseinfractions are deposited in the Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF), t Therefore, this bill is assessed as having a fiscal impact on state revenues. Based on current the HUTF distribution formula, the Department of Transportation would receive 65 percent of fine revenue increases. T Of the remaining revenue, would go to..... 26 percent would go to counties and 9 percent to cities. The number of people violating and receiving an infraction as a result of this bill is anticipated to be minimal, therefore having an minimal impact on state revenues.

            According to the Department of Transportation, the bill will conform to the Federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). Under the provisions of the federal legislation each state must adopt an open container law before October 1, 2000 or risk having federal highway construction funds redirected to safety education programs. Funds would not be eliminated, however, the sanctions begin with the redirection of 1.5 percent of funds and increase each year until state legislation is enacted.

State Appropriations

            The fiscal note indicates that no additional spending authority or appropriations are required to implement the provisions of the bill in 1999-00.

Local Government Impact

            Municipalities generally adopt provisions of the state traffic code into their municipal ordinances. Revenues collected from convictions on citations for this offense filed in municipal court would be municipal revenues.

Departments Contacted

            Judicial           Local Affairs              Revenue          Transportation