Senate Bill 1298 — Dyed fuels

Senate Bill 1298 — Dyed fuels

by
Parrish Miller
February 11, 2020
Parrish Miller
February 11, 2020

Bill description: SB 1298 increases inspections of commercial vehicles for dyed fuels.

Rating: -2

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

SB 1298 expands the power of law enforcement agencies and the Idaho Department of Transportation to inspect commercial vehicles for dyed fuels. (In some jurisdictions, dyeing fuel is a way to evade certain taxes.) Specifically, SB 1298 states, "When stopped at an inspection check station or when otherwise lawfully stopped as described in this section, any commercial diesel powered motor vehicle shall be subject to inspection for dyed fuel in the motor vehicle's diesel fuel tank when the operator is requested to submit to such inspection."

This power to conduct such inspections is extended to both the Idaho State Police and employees of the Idaho transportation department. The bill would allow inspections both during traffic stops and at "temporary or permanent ports of entry or checking stations upon any highways in the state of Idaho, at such places as the Idaho transportation department shall deem necessary and advisable."

(-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

Existing law imposes civil penalties of $250, $500, and $1,000 respectively for first, second, and third or subsequent violations of the regulations regarding dyed fuels.

SB 1298 newly imposes a $1,000 penalty for a "refusal of inspection" (even on a first offense) and it imposes half of that penalty ($500) on an absentee vehicle owner if the operator of a vehicle subject to the penalty does not own the vehicle.

(-1)

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