House Bill (HB) 1458, which deals with Indiana State Department of Toxicology (ISDT) fees, passed out of the House with an 87-9 vote. State Representatives Dan Leonard (R-Huntington) and Denny Zent (R-Angola) co-authored the measure, and it will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
“Our bill allows the ISDT to continue collecting fees equal to the amount that was collected as of Jan. 1 of this year,” said Rep. Leonard. “The department will be allowed to adopt a rule to change the specific amount of the fee.”
This legislation is a result of the ongoing transition for the ISDT. As a result of SEA 431 in 2011, the department became its own state entity. Indiana University used to run the Department of Toxicology, including the maintenance on the devices and the collection of fees for the services rendered.
HB bill 1458 would allow the State Department of Toxicology to collect the same fees and place them in the Breath Test Training and Certification Fund that has been transferred to the state from Indiana University.
“This legislation allows the ISDT to charge fees to cover their expenses in certifying breath test machines,” said Rep. Zent. “The bill establishes the Breath Test Training and Certification Fund to be used for the deposit of fees.”
These fees are established for the certification and recertification of individuals who operate the breath-testing equipment. This includes state and local police who utilize this breathalyzer equipment to catch and incarcerate those who take part in drinking and driving. Currently, there are over 5,000 breath-testing certifications, all of which are held by state and local law enforcement officers.
Current Indiana law recognizes the ISDT and outlines what its role is in state government. However, the law states nothing specific to their funding or their ability to collect fees for the services rendered. HB 1458 remedies that situation.