California: Save a Life Now!

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California: Save a Life Now!

We continue to support SB 1462 in California. Below are photos from an April 5, 2016 Press Conference with California Senator Huff, Assemblyman Huff, and Assemblyman Gatto in attendance. We are so thankful for the support of this bill by law enforcement agencies.

law enforcement supporting oral fluid testing

 


Help Stop Drugged Driving.  Please Support SB 1462.

CALIFORNIANS, IT IS TIME TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT PUBLIC AND REMOVE DRUGGED DRIVERS FROM OUR ROADS

Send your letter of support to Beth Hummel @ Beth.Hummel@sen.ca.gov

Please send a letter vs an email. It doesn’t have to be long. This is the one sent on behalf of We Save Lives.

The Honorable Senator Huff
California Senate
State Capitol, Rm. 4009
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Senator Huff,

I am writing you on behalf of We Save Lives, an international organization with more than 50  partners including, Stop DUID,  DUID Victim Voices, Stop Drugged Driving, the National Safety Council, National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) the Center for Forensic Science and Research Education and the Institute for Behavior and Health. We Save Lives supports Senate Bill 1462, authored by Senator Huff and co-authored by Assemblyman Lackey and Gatto that will amend the vehicle code to allow law enforcement to apply oral fluid testing if there is probable cause that a driver is under the influence.  While drunk driving continues to be addressed by legislators, 20% of vehicular crashes are caused by drugged driving.  In California marijuana was involved in more than 1500 vehicle fatalities in California over the last 5 years and drivers killed in crashes who tested positive for drugs increased from 27.8% in 2009 to 39.6% in 2013.

What you may not know but should is that:

  • Drugged drivers frequently escape prosecution which means –
  • No conviction which means –
  • No punishment or accountability which means –
  • No rehabilitation which means –
  • No justice for the victim/survivor and
  • No protection for society

However, there are methods of combatting this crime and one major way is through roadside oral fluid testing.  These devices halt drugged drivers in their tracks by providing law enforcement the tools they need to test a suspicious driver quickly, easily and effectively, thereby providing more protection for the innocent driver on the roadway.  We Save Lives does not endorse any particular product.

Approximately 13 states allow for oral fluid testing. If we limit the specimens (blood, urine, oral fluids) that can be collected, we could be missing the opportunities to utilize new and cost-efficient resources available to law enforcement.  Oral fluids are becoming a popular option for law enforcement because the test is less intrusive, and possibly more cost-effective than other standard forensic testing procedures. It eliminates cheating, is non-invasive and it can be conducted at roadside.  Oral Fluid testing is currently being utilized in a number of countries, including Great Britain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium plus these devices are now being used in several states including California, Nevada, Arizona, Vermont and Tennessee.

The City of Los Angeles began a pilot project utilizing driving under the influence (DUID) cases.  According to an article entitled Collecting Oral Fluid Evidence in Drugged Driving Cases by Phil Rennick, California TSRP and Janette Flintoff, Deputy LA City Attorney, “The results are measurable: cases filed with oral fluid evidence are pleading out earlier with this additional evidence, which is available at the time of filing, contrasted with cases awaiting blood test results from the lab.”  Oral fluid provides officers the opportunity to collect critical evidence close to the time/at the initial contact when the objective signs of impairment are present.

In fact, Oral fluid testing for DUID was found to be “scientifically Reliable in California Kelly-Frye Hearing”.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been using these devices since 2007 in National Roadside Surveys and is now providing grant funding for states who wish to purchase them.

We are asking that the legislation provide our law enforcement officers with another tool in their tool kit to help eliminate drugged driving and make our roads safer for our families, friends and loved ones.

Thank you,

Candace Lightner

President of We Save Lives.org
Founder of MADD

Important Links

We Save Lives response to the Drug Policy Alliance who opposes SB1462

Oral Fluid Legislation Talking Points

FACT SHEET on SB 1462

SB 1462 Text on California Government Website

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