Proposed law would require more drug testing in fatal accidents

Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Assemblyman William Brough (R-Dana Point) have introduced Senate Bill 283 and Assembly Bill 551 to require law enforcement to drug test in cases of fatalities occurring within 48 hours of a traffic collision. Current state law only requires medical examiners or county coroners to test deceased drivers and passengers for alcohol, but not for drugs. These bills will update current law and ensure that all municipalities are conducting drug testing involving cases of fatal collisions and to report the data to the California Highway Patrol.

“As California adjusts to the legalization of recreational marijuana and grapples with the opioid epidemic, we need to provide law enforcement with every legislative tool possible to prevent more collisions from occurring. In Orange County, law enforcement has seen a shocking 600 percent increase in driving under the influence of fentanyl cases. Having more information available on the causes of fatal collisions could help save lives in the future,” said Senator Bates.

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