Bill from state Sen. John Flanagan proposes drug, alcohol tests for drivers in serious accidents
New York is considering legislation that would require drivers in serious accidents to be tested for drugs and alcohol.
State Sen. John Flanagan (R-2nd District), who proposed the bill, says it would require police to test drivers in accidents where there is injury or death if there is reason to believe that the driver is impaired.
"In fatal accidents with serious injuries or death, in only 4 percent of them is blood-alcohol taken," says Sen. Flanagan. "That's a problem. Law enforcement is looking for tools to help save people's lives."
The family of James Walker, who was struck and killed while crossing a street in Brightwaters in 2011, says the driver was never tested. They say a police report shows that the driver had adderall in a plastic bag.
"I grew up in a time where drinking and driving was tolerated," said Phil Walker, James' father. "Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are the ones who changed the laws. The mothers raised up and said 'Guess what? Our kids are getting killed. Fix it.' The same thing has to be done here."
A similar bill passed the state Senate last year, but it failed in the Assembly. This year, it also has a sponsor in the Assembly.