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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 23: Motor Vehicles

Chapter 015: POWERS OF ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

  • § 1600. Definition

    Notwithstanding subdivision 4(4) of this title, as used in this chapter, "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Safety. (Added 2015, No. 47, § 36.)

  • § 1601. Identification of motor vehicles

    The Commissioner, his or her deputies, and all enforcement officers may at all times, with or without process, stop any motor vehicle to examine identification numbers and marks thereon and raise the hood or engine cover if necessary to accomplish their purpose, and may demand and inspect the driver's license, registration certificate, and permits. They may also at all times, with or without process, enter public garages, parking places, and public buildings where motor vehicles are stored or kept, for the purpose of examining identification numbers and marks thereon and may also, in like manner, examine any motor vehicle standing in any public place or way. They may in like manner examine any motor vehicle to ascertain whether its equipment complies with the requirements of law relating to motor vehicles.

  • § 1602. Traffic control

    The Commissioner and enforcement officers may control and direct motor vehicle traffic. They may arrest violators of the motor vehicle laws and the laws relative to lights on teams, on view without process, and take such persons before a court having jurisdiction of the offense. They may control and direct all vehicles in places of traffic congestion.

  • § 1603. Investigation of accidents

    The Commissioner shall forthwith after receiving notice of an accident where a personal injury occurs, and, in case of notice of an accident where an injury occurs to property, may cause such accident to be investigated by an enforcement officer, and where such investigation reveals facts tending to show culpability on the part of any motor vehicle owner or operator, he or she shall cause such facts to be reported to the State's Attorney of the county where the accident occurred. The State's Attorney shall further investigate the accident and may hold an inquest as provided by 13 V.S.A. §§ 5131-5137. After such investigation or inquest, he or she shall report forthwith to the Commissioner the result thereof together with his or her recommendation as to the suspension of the license of the operator of any motor vehicle involved in the accident.

  • § 1603a. Reports of accidents

    (a) All accidents involving a commercial motor vehicle or any vehicle displaying a hazardous materials placard shall be reported to the Agency of Transportation by appropriate law enforcement personnel on forms and in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation.

    (b) Law enforcement officers who investigate motor vehicle accidents other than those involving vehicles described in subsection (a) of this section shall forward a report to the Agency of Transportation within 30 days after the accident is investigated on forms prescribed and furnished by the Secretary of Transportation, and approved by the Attorney General with respect to any matter affecting the substantive rights of any person. (Added 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. Oct. 1, 2000; amended 2009, No. 39, § 4.)

  • § 1603b. Agency of Transportation repository for accident reports filed by law enforcement; Department of Motor Vehicles repository for operator accident reports

    The Agency of Transportation shall be the accident data repository for reports submitted by law enforcement agencies in the State. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall be the repository agency for all operator accident reports. (Added 2009, No. 39, § 5.)

  • § 1604. Seizure of motor vehicles

    An enforcement officer, without process, may seize a motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle found by him or her on which the manufacturer's serial or motor number or any of the identifying numbers placed on the motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle or any of the parts thereof have been obliterated, defaced, or tampered with, or when in his or her judgment the motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle has been stolen, and may retain possession of the motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle until the Commissioner or State's Attorney of the county where the vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle is found is satisfied as to the rightful ownership thereof. Immediately on the seizure of the motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle, the officer shall report the same, together with all the facts obtainable by him or her, to the Commissioner, and the officer shall notify the State's Attorney of the county in which the motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle was seized and cause the ownership of the motor vehicle, snowmobile, motorboat, or all-terrain vehicle to be investigated. (Amended 2007, No. 19, § 5.)

  • § 1605. Repealed. 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.

  • § 1606. Repealed. 1969, No. 131, § 36, eff. April 23, 1969.

  •  [Section 1607 repealed effective July 1, 2020.]

    § 1607. Automated license plate recognition systems

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    (1) "Active data" is distinct from historical data as defined in subdivision (3) of this subsection and means data uploaded to individual automated license plate recognition system units before operation as well as data gathered during the operation of an ALPR system. Any data collected by an ALPR system in accordance with this section shall be considered collected for a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

    (2) "Automated license plate recognition system" or "ALPR system" means a system of one or more mobile or fixed high-speed cameras combined with computer algorithms to convert images of registration plates into computer-readable data.

    (3) "Historical data" means any data collected by an ALPR system and stored on the statewide ALPR server operated by the Vermont Justice Information Sharing System of the Department of Public Safety. Any data collected by an ALPR system in accordance with this section shall be considered collected for a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

    (4) "Law enforcement officer" means a State Police officer, municipal police officer, motor vehicle inspector, Capitol Police officer, constable, sheriff, or deputy sheriff certified by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council as a level II or level III law enforcement officer under 20 V.S.A. § 2358.

    (5) "Legitimate law enforcement purpose" applies to access to active or historical data, and means investigation, detection, analysis, or enforcement of a crime or of a commercial motor vehicle violation or a person's defense against a charge of a crime or commercial motor vehicle violation, or operation of AMBER alerts or missing or endangered person searches.

    (6) "Vermont Intelligence Center analyst" means any sworn or civilian employee who through his or her employment with the Vermont Intelligence Center (VIC) has access to secure databases that support law enforcement investigations.

    (b) Operation. A Vermont law enforcement officer shall be certified in ALPR operation by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council in order to operate an ALPR system.

    (c) ALPR use and data access; confidentiality.

    (1)(A) Deployment of ALPR equipment by Vermont law enforcement agencies is intended to provide access to law enforcement reports of wanted or stolen vehicles and wanted persons and to further other legitimate law enforcement purposes. Use of ALPR systems by law enforcement officers and access to active data are restricted to legitimate law enforcement purposes.

    (B) Active data may be accessed by a law enforcement officer operating the ALPR system only if he or she has a legitimate law enforcement purpose for the data. Entry of any data into the system other than data collected by the ALPR system itself must be approved by a supervisor and shall have a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

    (C)(i) Requests to access active data shall be in writing and include the name of the requester, the law enforcement agency the requester is employed by, if any, and the law enforcement agency's Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) number. To be approved, the request must provide specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the data are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal, missing person, or commercial motor vehicle investigation or enforcement action. The written request and the outcome of the request shall be transmitted to VIC and retained by VIC for not less than three years.

    (ii) In each department operating an ALPR system, access to active data shall be limited to designated personnel who have been provided account access by the department to conduct authorized ALPR stored data queries. Access to active data shall be restricted to data collected within the past seven days.

    (2)(A) A VIC analyst shall transmit historical data only to a Vermont or out-of-state law enforcement officer or person who has a legitimate law enforcement purpose for the data. A law enforcement officer or other person to whom historical data are transmitted may use such data only for a legitimate law enforcement purpose. Entry of any data onto the statewide ALPR server other than data collected by an ALPR system itself must be approved by a supervisor and shall have a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

    (B) Requests for historical data within six months of the date of the data's creation, whether from Vermont or out-of-state law enforcement officers or other persons, shall be made in writing to a VIC analyst. The request shall include the name of the requester, the law enforcement agency the requester is employed by, if any, and the law enforcement agency's ORI number. To be approved, the request must provide specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the data are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal, missing person, or commercial motor vehicle investigation or enforcement action. VIC shall retain all requests and shall record in writing the outcome of the request and any information that was provided to the requester or, if applicable, why a request was denied or not fulfilled. VIC shall retain the information described in this subdivision (c)(2)(B) for no fewer than three years.

    (C) After six months from the date of its creation, VIC may only disclose historical data:

    (i) pursuant to a warrant if the data are not sought in connection with a pending criminal charge; or

    (ii) to the prosecution or the defense in connection with a pending criminal charge and pursuant to a court order issued upon a finding that the data are reasonably likely to be relevant to the criminal matter.

    (3) Active data and historical data shall not be subject to subpoena or discovery, or be admissible in evidence, in any private civil action.

    (4) Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection, in connection with commercial motor vehicle screening, inspection, and compliance activities to enforce the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):

    (A) may maintain or designate a server for the storage of historical data that is separate from the statewide server;

    (B) may designate a DMV employee to carry out the same responsibilities as a VIC analyst and a supervisor as specified in subdivision (2) of this subsection; and

    (C) shall have the same duties as the VIC with respect to the retention of requests for historical data.

    (d) Retention.

    (1) Any ALPR information gathered by a Vermont law enforcement agency shall be sent to the Department of Public Safety to be retained pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (2) of this subsection. The Department of Public Safety shall maintain the ALPR storage system for Vermont law enforcement agencies.

    (2) Except as provided in this subsection and section 1608 of this title, information gathered by a law enforcement officer through use of an ALPR system shall only be retained for 18 months after the date it was obtained. When the permitted 18-month period for retention of the information has expired, the Department of Public Safety and any local law enforcement agency with custody of the information shall destroy it and cause to have destroyed any copies or backups made of the original data. Data may be retained beyond the 18-month period pursuant to a preservation request made or disclosure order issued under Section 1608 of this title or pursuant to a warrant issued under Rule 41 of the Vermont or Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

    (e) Oversight; rulemaking.

    (1) The Department of Public Safety, in consultation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall establish a review process to ensure that information obtained through use of ALPR systems is used only for the purposes permitted by this section. The Department of Public Safety shall report the results of this review annually on or before January 15 to the Senate and House Committees on Judiciary and on Transportation. The report shall contain the following information based on prior calendar year data:

    (A) the total number of ALPR units being operated by government agencies in the State, the number of such units that are stationary, and the number of units submitting data to the statewide ALPR database;

    (B) the number of ALPR readings each agency submitted, and the total number of all such readings submitted, to the statewide ALPR database;

    (C) the 18-month cumulative number of ALPR readings being housed on the statewide ALPR database as of the end of the calendar year;

    (D) the total number of requests made to VIC for historical data, the average age of the data requested, and the number of these requests that resulted in release of information from the statewide ALPR database;

    (E) the total number of out-of-state requests to VIC for historical data, the average age of the data requested, and the number of out-of-state requests that resulted in release of information from the statewide ALPR database;

    (F) the total number of alerts generated on ALPR systems operated by law enforcement officers in the State by a match between an ALPR reading and a plate number on an alert database and the number of these alerts that resulted in an enforcement action;

    (G) the total number of criminal, missing person, and commercial motor vehicle investigations and enforcement actions to which active data contributed, and a summary of the nature of these investigations and enforcement actions;

    (H) the total number of criminal, missing person, and commercial motor vehicle investigations and enforcement actions to which historical data contributed, and a summary of the nature of these investigations and enforcement actions; and

    (I) the total annualized fixed and variable costs associated with all ALPR systems used by Vermont law enforcement agencies and an estimate of the total of such costs per unit.

    (2) Before January 1, 2018, the Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules to implement this section. (Added 2013, No. 69, § 1; amended 2015, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2017, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 25, 2018; repealed on July 1, 2020 by 2017, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  •  [Section 1608 repealed effective July 1, 2020.]

    § 1608. Preservation of data

    (a) Preservation request.

    (1) A law enforcement agency or the Department of Motor Vehicles or other person with a legitimate law enforcement purpose may apply to the Criminal Division of the Superior Court for an extension of up to 90 days of the 18-month retention period established under subdivision 1607(d)(2) of this title if the agency or Department offers specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the captured plate data are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal or missing persons investigation or to a pending court or Judicial Bureau proceeding involving enforcement of a crime or of a commercial motor vehicle violation. Requests for additional 90-day extensions or for longer periods may be made to the Superior Court subject to the same standards applicable to an initial extension request under this subdivision.

    (2) A governmental entity making a preservation request under this section shall submit an affidavit stating:

    (A) the particular camera or cameras for which captured plate data must be preserved or the particular license plate for which captured plate data must be preserved; and

    (B) the date or dates and time frames for which captured plate data must be preserved.

    (b) Captured plate data shall be destroyed on the schedule specified in section 1607 of this title if the preservation request is denied or 14 days after the denial, whichever is later. (Added 2013, No. 69, § 2; amended 2015, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; repealed on July 1, 2020 by 2017, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)