House Bill (HB) 1458, which deals with Indiana State Department of Toxicology (ISDT) fees, passed out of the Senate with a unanimous vote of 47-0. State Representative Dan Leonard (R-Huntington)authored the measure with State Representative Denny Zent (R-Angola) serving as the co-author.
“This legislation provides that the ISDT may continue collecting fees in the same amount that was being collected on Jan. 1 of this year,” said Rep. Leonard. “The bill also permits the ISDT to adopt a rule to alter the exact amount of the fee.”
HB 1458 comes as a result of the ongoing transition for the ISDT. As a result of SEA 431 in 2011, the department became its own state entity, which was previously run by Indiana University (IU). IU used to be responsible for maintenance on the devices and for the collection of fees for services rendered.
This bill allows ISDT to collect the same fees and place them in the Breath Test Training and Certification Fund that has been transferred to the state from IU.
“The ISDT may now charge fees in order to cover their expenses in certifying breath test machines,” said Rep. Zent. “HB 1458 also establishes the Breath Test Training and Certification Fund to be used for depositing those fees.”
These fees are created for the certification and also the recertification of individuals who operate the breath-testing equipment. That includes local and state police who use this breathalyzer equipment to catch and incarcerate drunk drivers. There are currently over 5,000 breath-testing certifications, all of which are held by local and state law enforcement officials.
Current Indiana law recognizes the ISDT, in addition to its role within state government. However, the law does not state anything specific to their funding or their ability to collect fees for the services rendered. HB 1458 enables the department to independently collect fees.
HB 1458 will now be sent to Governor Pence for his signature to become law.