House Bill 241 would give police officers greater discretion when it comes to cases involving underage possession of alcohol and marijuana. Legislation passed in the 150th General Assembly made underage possession of those substances a civil offense punishable by a fine in most cases. Under HB 241, officers would be allowed to refer a minor to the Juvenile Civil Citation Program in place of assessing a monetary civil penalty.
This bill has passed the House 37-4 and the Senate 18-3. In each case, the no votes were Republicans. The bill now heads to Governor Carney.
|House Bill 241 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Heffernan, Dorsey Walker, Lynn, Osiensi||House passed 37-4. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Yearick||Collins, Morris, Postles, Vanderwende|
|Paradee, Sturgeon||Senate passed 18-3. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn||Hocker, Richardson, Wilson|
|Current Status||Sent to Governor|
“HB 241 restores a previous law enforcement tool that holds kids accountable for their actions, through the option of referring them to the Delaware Juvenile Civil Citation program – a way that can actually help kids get back on the right path and remove financial barriers,” said Rep. Heffernan. “Our goal is to help kids who have gotten involved in alcohol and marijuana the best we can, not set them up for failure. This bill will do just that.”
“Some teens might learn a valuable lesson from simply having to pay a fine,” said Sen. Paradee. “But for many others, a better approach might be the kind of hands-on intervention available through the Juvenile Civil Citation Program, which requires a risk assessment, community service and a community impact statement, among other measures. Every child is different, and this bill will further move us away from a one-size-fits-all approach to juvenile justice.”