When it comes to the rules of the road and laws everyone has to follow, many don’t realize that many of these decisions are based on state laws. Of course, on interstate highways, federal law can easily apply in situations of car accidents, but generally, jurisdiction is left to the states. Louisiana is one of the states who does not allow for drug testing of drivers after they have been in involved in a car accident causing industries. Current law says for law enforcement to drug test them only after a fatality has occurred.
This is where ‘Katie Bug Law’ comes in. Katie was a sweet 4 year old girl who passed away from her car accident injury after she was thrown from her vehicle after a pick-up truck ran a red light and crashed into the vehicle she was riding in. Because of current laws, the driver of that truck was not drug tested at the scene, because she passed away seven days later. This new law, if it passes, would ensure those involved in a car accident causing bodily injury would automatically qualify a police officer to drug test those involved in the accident.
Essentially, it would grant officers probable cause to test for drugs or alcohol in a person’s system after a car accident causing bodily harm. Many states already have this law, or some version, of this law enacted into their state legislatures. You could say that Louisiana is a little behind in this respect. Hopefully this law can be passed and those who were injured due to impairment can get answers.
The man who ran the red light ultimately only ended up doing 10 days in jail for a traffic violation. He was not drug tested at the scene, but meth, alcohol and pills were all found in his vehicle. Arguably, had he been drug tested, they could have determined if he was impaired on drugs at the time of the ultimately fatal accident.