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Archive for Friday, February 1, 2008

Panel balks at proposed bill to test for drugs at accidents

February 1, 2008

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Legislature postpones 'Bixby bill'

State lawmakers postpone a bill that would require drug testing at major traffic accidents. The proposal stems from the death of 19-year-old Amanda Bixby of Tonganoxie, who was killed last February in a car accident. Enlarge video

— A House committee on Thursday postponed voting on a bill that would require drug testing at major traffic accidents.

Several committee members said more work was needed on the proposal.

Under House Bill 2617, people involved in accidents that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities would have to submit to drug tests.

Currently, such a test, frequently a blood sample, can be ordered only if there is reasonable suspicion of drug use.

The new proposal was prompted by the death of Amanda Bixby, 19, who was killed in a wreck last year. Her parents, Dennis and Denise Bixby, of Tonganoxie, said the person who struck Amanda should have been tested for drugs.

But on Thursday, several committee members said they were concerned that under the proposed bill, blood could be drawn from people even though they were not at fault and under no suspicion.

State Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth, gave several examples that she knew about.

In one, a person wrecked a car while trying to avoid a tire that fell from the back of a truck. The car driver's legs had to be amputated, to remove the person from the wreckage.

"You want to test them for drugs?" Crow asked.

The bill also would require that passengers be drug tested. State Rep. Thomas "Tim" Owens, R-Overland Park, said, "I think that goes a little bit too far."

Hospital officials also said there needed to be legal and safety protections for workers who would have to draw blood.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said he wanted interested parties to work together and come up with a proposal soon.

He didn't set a deadline but said: "I do want to work the bill. I just think it's important that we get it right."

Comments

terrapin2 6 years, 2 months ago

b3-Just because someone disagrees with another attempt at taking away our rights as citizens does not make that person a druggy, you idiot. You're damn straight I'm nervous. You take away the protection of the 4th amendment, then which one is next b3? Freedom of speech? Quit being so judgmental of other people. Is your house glass?

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DirtyLinen 6 years, 2 months ago

b3 (Anonymous) says:

"Like I said before, there are obviously a lot of druggies in this town..."

We can always hope b3 is the first person this affects, when he tests positive 3 days after taking the percocet his dentist prescribed, and is consequently charged with driving while impaired and negligent homicide (of the driver that ran a stop sign and hit him, while the other driver was whacked out on any of the countless street drugs that are not detected in common drug tests), then sued for everything he owns. Then he can come back and tell us what a great idea this law is.

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texburgh 6 years, 2 months ago

Thank you President Bush. Your work to eliminate civil rights is finally trickling down to the local level. While you secure warrantless wire taps, our state seeks to strip us of probable cause. What happened to the Bixby family is tragic but just because the Bixbys THINK drugs may have been a factor is not a reason to subject US ALL to drug testing without probable cause.

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b3 6 years, 2 months ago

Like I said before, there are obviously a lot of druggies in this town and from these posts they seem to be getting nervous. You had better run and hide you losers.

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terrapin2 6 years, 2 months ago

B3 obviously would like to live somewhere with no constitution. ( Oh and no hippies either). No one different than her/him with big brother in everyone's home, car, bloodstream...

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Clint Gentry 6 years, 2 months ago

Any legislation aimed at chipping away civil rights will first and foremost effect those with lesser ability to defend themselves, (AKA poorer minorities). It's essentially the use of emotional tactics to further the drug war, which in itself is a racist policy.

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DirtyLinen 6 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, "implies that only this legislation is aimed at black people" should have read "implies that this legislation is aimed at only black people."

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DirtyLinen 6 years, 2 months ago

anxiousatheist (Anonymous) says:

"Why don't they just come up with a new statute, "Driving While Black". Cut to the chase cops, this is what you really want:"

As your statement implies that only this legislation is aimed at black people with the expectation that they will test positive for drugs more than others, your comment is itself rascist.

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The real issue here is quite simple.

1) Under existing law the person who killed the Bixby's daughter could have been forced to provide a sample for drug testing if the police had any reason to suspect impairment.

2) Even if the test had been positive, it would not have ... could not have ... proven impairment.

3) The Bixbys are trying to alleviate their grief by doing something they mistakenly believe will prevent something like this from happening to another family's daughter.

4) The legislature is trying to make it look like they're concerned about the issue by considering a knee-jerk, unnecessary, and useless piece of legislation.

Did I miss anything?

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DirtyLinen 6 years, 2 months ago

Baille (Anonymous) says:

"why should medical workers get immunity?"

Haven't read the bill, but I would think that "immunity" in the case of hospital workers applied to being sued for collecting the sample or releasing the results without the person's consent, not for negligence in the way the collection was carried out ... don't police officers already have immunity from being sued for the collection of samples like breathalyzers, urine samples, and cheek swabs?

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Clint Gentry 6 years, 2 months ago

What's your argument? I'm confused, do you have a point? You think I could work for the United Nations? That would be pretty sweet, helping to ensure the equality of all human beings. I understand why you wouldn't like it though "kubacker". One question, are you simply a "backer" or did you get an actual degree? I think I know the answer to that one...it's "moral relativIST statement"...

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kubacker 6 years, 2 months ago

"What about that non-illegal that killed a girl? Are they better because they are legal? Are they morally superior because they have a social-security number?"

What an incredibily airheaded, assinine, moral relativism statement that is! You need to be in NYC working for the UN!

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Clint Gentry 6 years, 2 months ago

What about that non-illegal that killed a girl? Are they better because they are legal? Are they morally superior because they have a social-security number? Give me a break...

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bobberboy 6 years, 2 months ago

You bet it goes too far. Back off

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Clint Gentry 6 years, 2 months ago

Kubacker, your racist colors are showing...

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kubacker 6 years, 2 months ago

Thank you illegal alien from Levenworth who got drugged up and killed that girl with his car. It is to bad your noble salt-of-the-earth amigo from the south, who just wants a U.S. citizen's place in our workforce and to earn as much tax free cash as possible to wire back to Mexico and not be put back into our economy, is getting all you open-borders-loving dopers from Lawrence exposed to dope testing and serious jail time every time you get in the car.

LMAO!

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Clint Gentry 6 years, 2 months ago

Why don't they just come up with a new statute, "Driving While Black". Cut to the chase cops, this is what you really want...

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Defender 6 years, 2 months ago

"This needs to be passed.'

b3, why are you such an America hating, terrorist loving moron? Come on, why is it that you're such a traitor?

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

This bill does NOT need to be passed. Setting aside for a moment the invasion of privacy and constitutional concerns, why should medical workers get immunity?

Under the proposed bill, it appears a passenger involved in a traffic accident could have her blood taken without her consent and without reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a crime had been committed. She could then be injured by the negligence of a medical worker (e.g. preventable infection, perfusion injury, perforation, and so forth) and have no recourse to hold that negligent worker responsible. Once she racked up a few thousand or tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills required to treat the injury from the negligent worker, her only recourse would be bankruptcy - even though that option has been severely curtailed by the multinational corporate pandering of Shrub. And all because she was riding with someone who was involved in a traffic accident.

Seems like the only people that benefit from this are the insurance companies that Representative Mike O'Neal represents.

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DirtyLinen 6 years, 2 months ago

its_getting_warmer (Anonymous) says:

"A solution looking for a problem."

Now this doesn't happen very often, but I absolutely agree with warmer on this one.

This is a pointless bill that would do nothing. Testing for drugs would not tell you anything about whether the person was impaired at the time of the accident. I'm sorry for the Bixbys' loss, but this does nothing to address any factor related to their daughter's accident, and nothing is going to give them the answers they seek.

I congratulate the legislature for showing restraint on this one rather than pass a useless and dangerous bill just to make a public statement.

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BABBOY 6 years, 2 months ago

Why does this need to be passed? I do not see it. If the driver appear drunk B3, they get tested under the reasonable suspicion judgment of the cop, meaning whenever they want to they already can.

Mandating the test for everyone? Hell, why do we check our papers everytime we cross the border in Missour to make sure we are here legally? B3 I can only assume that you are transplantted Commie from Russia that is use to such things, but in American we have freedoms. Or least, we do until short sighted morons like B3 gives them away like this.....

Good thing the panel saw through this crap....

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Jayhawker1 6 years, 2 months ago

Where exactly is the State going to find the funds for the additional staff and equipment necessary to do all these new tests? Law enforcement and state investigative staff are already strapped with budget cuts and raise freezes!

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LawrencePothole 6 years, 2 months ago

"Currently, such a test, frequently a blood sample, can be ordered only if there is reasonable suspicion of drug use."

Ah, currently we already test for drugs when there is "reasonable suspicion". Just like the "reasonable suspicion" cops use when evaluating whether or not the can search your car. I'm a big fan of "reasonable suspicion" because otherwise things become "unreasonable" like this bill. Why is there a need to test passengers? That seems to completely overstep the bounds here.

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Norma Jeane Baker 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry for the Bixbys' loss, but this bill will not bring back their daughter. I really don't know what they hope to accomplish by pushing this bill. As mentioned, probable cause should cover it.

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chzypoof1 6 years, 2 months ago

This bill is BS. You can't test everyone for drugs just because they had a wreck. That's illegal search and seizure. If there's no probable cause, then it's not legal.

The current law provides an avenue for blood tests..it's called probable cause. Quit letting the govt chip away at your freedoms and open your eyes.

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EasyTiger 6 years, 2 months ago

Reasonable suspicion isn't enough? If you think the person's on drugs, test em. If not, don't. What's the problem with that?

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Jackie Jackasserson 6 years, 2 months ago

isn't that a bit big brother-ish - testing everyone's blood??

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busymom 6 years, 2 months ago

I agree to a point that it should be passed, but the bill needs a lot of work first. Not everyone at the scene of the accident should be tested. IE, someone pulls out to make a left into oncoming traffic and gets hit, the person that pulled out gets tested.

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b3 6 years, 2 months ago

This needs to be passed.

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busymom 6 years, 2 months ago

Out of curiousity if the state requires drug testing of accident victims, would car insurance cover that cost?

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