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Overcriminalization

"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

HR 7204: A bill to amend title 49

Official Title

A bill to amend title 49, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish sanctions and penalties applicable to an employer whenever an employee of the employer is convicted of driving an over-the-road bus under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance while acting within the scope of the employee’s employment.

Analysis

This bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to establish “sanctions and penalties applicable to an employer whenever an employee of the employer is convicted of driving an over-the-road bus under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance while acting within the scope of the employee’s employment.” This language indicates that the criminal liability would be strict and applied vicariously. To be convicted under this offense, an employer thus would not need to have committed any wrongful act, had knowledge of the employee’s use of alcohol or a controlled substance, or acted with any other criminal intent. Employers whose employees violate the standard in the law would face criminal penalties and imprisonment of up to 1 year.

Legislation Details
SPONSOR

jackson-lee (D - TX)

STATUS:

10/07/2008: Text Available
09/28/2008: Referred to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee