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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

busymom 6 years, 11 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.

busymom 6 years, 11 months ago

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

chzypoof1 6 years, 11 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.

Jayhawker1 6 years, 11 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!

Baille 6 years, 11 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.

terrapin2 6 years, 10 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...

texburgh 6 years, 10 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.

terrapin2 6 years, 10 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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