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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 104-H.F.No. 901 
                  An act relating to drivers' licenses; requiring 
                  additional information in drivers' education programs, 
                  the driver's license examination, and the driver's 
                  manual regarding the legal and financial consequences 
                  of violating DWI-related laws; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1994, sections 169.121, by adding a 
                  subdivision; and 171.13, subdivisions 1 and 1b. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.121, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 12.  [DRIVER EDUCATION PROGRAMS.] Driver training 
        courses offered through the public schools and driver training 
        courses offered by private or commercial schools or institutes 
        shall include instruction which must encompass at least: 
           (1) information on the effects of consumption of beverage 
        alcohol products and the use of illegal drugs, prescription 
        drugs, and nonprescription drugs on the ability of a person to 
        operate a motor vehicle; 
           (2) the hazards of driving while under the influence of 
        alcohol or drugs; and 
           (3) the legal penalties and financial consequences 
        resulting from violations of laws prohibiting the operation of a 
        motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 171.13, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [APPLICANTS.] Except as otherwise provided 
        in this section, the commissioner shall examine each applicant 
        for a driver's license by such agency as the commissioner 
        directs.  This examination must include a test of applicant's 
        eyesight; ability to read and understand highway signs 
        regulating, warning, and directing traffic; knowledge of traffic 
        laws; knowledge of the effects of alcohol and drugs on a 
        driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and legally, 
        and of the legal penalties and financial consequences resulting 
        from violations of laws prohibiting the operation of a motor 
        vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; knowledge 
        of railroad grade crossing safety; knowledge of slow-moving 
        vehicle safety; an actual demonstration of ability to exercise 
        ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor 
        vehicle; and other physical and mental examinations as the 
        commissioner finds necessary to determine the applicant's 
        fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely upon the highways, 
        provided, further however, no driver's license shall be denied 
        an applicant on the exclusive grounds that the applicant's 
        eyesight is deficient in color perception.  Provided, however, 
        that war veterans operating motor vehicles especially equipped 
        for handicapped persons, shall, if otherwise entitled to a 
        license, be granted such license.  The commissioner shall make 
        provision for giving these examinations either in the county 
        where the applicant resides or at a place adjacent thereto 
        reasonably convenient to the applicant. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 171.13, 
        subdivision 1b, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 1b.  [DRIVER'S MANUAL; ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.] (a) The 
        commissioner shall include in each subsequent edition of the 
        driver's manual published by the department a chapter relating 
        to: 
           (1) the effect of alcohol consumption on highway safety and 
        on the ability of drivers to safely operate motor vehicles and; 
           (2) a summary of the laws of Minnesota on operating a motor 
        vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled 
        substance; and 
           (3) the legal penalties and financial consequences 
        resulting from violations of laws prohibiting the operation of a 
        motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
           (b) This chapter shall also include information on the 
        dangers of driving at alcohol concentration levels below the 
        legal limit for alcohol concentration, and specifically state 
        that: 
           (1) there is no "safe" level or amount of alcohol that an 
        individual can assume will not impair one's driving performance 
        or increase the risk of a crash; 
           (2) a driver may be convicted of driving while impaired 
        whether or not the driver's alcohol concentration exceeds the 
        legal limit for alcohol concentration; and 
           (3) a person under the legal drinking age may be convicted 
        of illegally consuming alcohol if found to have consumed any 
        amount of alcohol, and if that person was driving during or 
        after the consumption of alcohol is subject to driver's license 
        suspension. 
           Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 3 are effective July 1, 1995. 
           Presented to the governor April 28, 1995 
           Signed by the governor May 1, 1995, 2:42 p.m.