House committee hears testimony on Billy’s Law

LANSING, Mich. — The House Committee on Judiciary on Tuesday took testimony on legislation that would give law enforcement more tools while collecting evidence against someone suspected of driving under the influence.

Senate Bill 80, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt, seeks to close a loophole that prevents law enforcement from administering drug tests or from obtaining drug test results on at-fault motorists in traffic accidents that lead to serious injury or death. SB 80 would improve existing law to imply consent for at-fault drivers in such accidents to allow a blood or urine test to be given. It also would make urine test results subject to a search warrant in addition to blood tests.

“A fatal accident scene is very chaotic, and law enforcement should be focused on gathering all relevant evidence,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “This is a matter of public safety. We are tying the hands of our officers when we should be focused on holding criminals accountable for their actions.”

SB 80 will remain in the committee, as it did not receive a final vote Tuesday afternoon.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of this photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/photowire.

Photo caption: State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, testifies on Senate Bill 80 before the House Committee on Judiciary. Pictured from left to right are Shannon Kochis, John Collins and Mary Jo Pomeroy, friends and relatives of Billy Kochis, the namesake of Schmidt’s legislation.