CHAPTER 234

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 81

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO MINORS AND UNIFORM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1.: Amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code by adding a new section to read as follows:

14761A. Purchase of drugs from minors; penalties.

(a) Except as authorized by this chapter:

(1) Whoever knowingly purchases a controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II which is a narcotic drug from a person under 18 years of age is guilty of a class C felony.

(2) Whoever knowingly purchases any other controlled substance or counterfeit controlled substance which is a nonnarcotic drug classified in Schedule I, II, Ill, IV or V from a person under 18 years of age is guilty of a class E felony.

(3) In any prosecution for violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection, when the person from whom the narcotic drug has been purchased is under the age of 16, there shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, which 1 year mandatory minimum term shall not be subject to suspension and no person shall further be eligible for probation or parole during said 1 year mandatory minimum term; when the person from whom the narcotic drug has been purchased is under the age of 14, there shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 2 years which 2 year mandatory minimum term shall not be subject to suspension and no person shall further be eligible for probation or parole during said 2 year mandatory minimum term.

(4) In any prosecution for violation of paragraph (2) of this subsection, when the person from whom the nonnarcotic drug has been purchased is under the age of 16, there shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 6 months, which 6 months mandatory minimum term shall not be subject to suspension and no person shall further be eligible for probation or parole during said 6 months mandatory minimum term; when the person from whom the nonnarcotic drug has been purchased is under the age of 14, there shall be a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, which 1 year mandatory minimum term shall not be subject to suspension and no person shall further be eligible for probation or parole during said 1 year mandatory minimum term.

(b) Whenever in this section the criminality of conduct or particular sentence depends on a person's age, it is no defense that the actor did not know the person's age, or reasonably believed the person to be older than age 14, 16 or 18, as the case may be.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or limit any prosecution or conviction for a violation of this chapter or any other provision of law; and a conviction under this section shall not merge with a conviction for the violation of any other provision of this chapter or other provision of law."

Approved February 5, 1998