Appellant was convicted after a jury trial of the misdemeanor of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. The lower court fixed his fine at $100.00 and costs, sentenced him to ten days in jail and recommended the suspension of his driver's license for one year. He appeals from the judgment of conviction and has assigned as error the overruling of his motion for new trial.
One of the specifications relied on by appellant in his motion for new trial is alleged error committed by the court in overruling appellant's motion to dismiss the action because of the running of the three term statute.
Appellant's remaining contention of error relates to the giving of two instructions by the court and the refusing of two other instructions offered by appellant as to the form of verdict, according to which the jury were not permitted to fix the punishment for the misdemeanor of driving while under the influence of liquor. Appellee (The State) argues that the error is not properly raised by appellant for the reason that one specification of the motion for new trial questions separate rulings of the court in giving two of its own instructions and refusing two other instructions of appellant as to the form of the verdict. However, we believe appellee's objection is without merit as the same question was presented by appellant's objections to the court's given instructions as by the court's refusal of appellant's offered instructions concerning the form of the verdict. We have held that separate rulings of the court may be assigned under one specification of a motion for new trial provided all
It is obvious here that if the giving of the court's own instructions was erroneous, it was similarly erroneous to refuse those offered by appellant.
We now proceed to a consideration of the question of whether the court should have permitted the jury to fix the punishment for the misdemeanor of driving while under the influence of liquor.
The statutes we are called upon to construe are the Acts of 1927, ch. 200, §§ 1, 2 and 3, p. 574 (Burns' §§ 9-1819, 9-1820 and 9-1821), as they are affected by the Acts of 1939, ch. 48, § 54, p. 289; Acts 1955, ch. 171, § 2, p. 440 (Burns' Statutes § 47-2003).
These statutes provide so far as applicable as follows:
The next two sections referred to deal with felonies covered by the indeterminate sentence law and provide:
The Acts of 1939, ch. 48, § 54, p. 289, supra, as amended by the Acts of 1955, ch. 171, § 2, p. 440, supra, which appellee contends amend the Acts of 1927, ch. 200, § 2, p. 574, supra, by implication, provides as follows:
It is obvious that prior to the enactment of the statute last above set forth, the jury were required
Now, could the 1939 Act, as amended in 1955 (Burns' § 47-2003), supra, have modified or amended the 1927 Act (Burns' § 9-1820), supra, so as to deprive the jury of the right to fix the fine and imprisonment in misdemeanor cases of driving while under the influence of liquor? It did not amend the previous act specifically, and it is our opinion that it cannot be considered to have amended it by implication. There is no language in the subsequent act stating that the jury, in cases involving offenses coming under Burns' § 47-2001 (a) or (b), supra, should only determine defendant's guilt or innocence, but the language does specify the jury shall
This court cannot properly indulge in judicial legislation by writing into a statute a word or words to connote a different meaning from the words plainly used by the legislature. Yet that is what we would be required to do to find the Act of 1927 has been amended by the subsequent independent act.
We accordingly hold that it was the jury's function to fix the fine and imprisonment if the accused was found to be guilty of the misdemeanor of driving while under the influence of liquor, as in the case before us, and that it was error for the court to give its instructions 8 and 9 and to refuse appellant's offered instructions 1 and 2 as to the form of the verdict, and that the trial court erred in overruling appellant's motion for new trial attacking such rulings of the court.
Judgment reversed with instructions to sustain appellant's motion for new trial.
Achor, C.J., and Arterburn, Bobbitt and Emmert, JJ., concur.
NOTE. — Reported in 138 N.E.2d 290.
"All crimes and public offenses which may be punished with death or imprisonment in the state prison shall be denominated felonies; all [and] all other offenses against the criminal law shall be denominated misdemeanors." Acts 1905, ch. 169, § 1, p. 584, being Burns' § 9-101, 1956 Repl.
"Any person who drives a vehicle while such person is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of narcotic drugs shall be guilty of a criminal offense. Upon a first conviction, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail or state farm for a determinate period of not less than ten days nor more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment." Acts 1939, ch. 48, § 52, p. 289.