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Arizona Senate Bill Requiring Alcohol/Drug Testing of Drivers Involved in Fatality Accidents Clears Another Hurdle

On March 21, 2018, Arizona Senate Bill 1210 (2018) passed another step on its way to becoming new law. The Arizona House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee passed it with a 6-3 vote. All six representatives voting in favor were republicans, while all three voting in opposition were democrats.

The Senate Bill was introduced on January 18, 2018, by Senator Judy Burges. The bill proposes to amend current law and Arizona Revised Statute Section 28-673. Currently, the Statute provides that if a person was involved in a fatality traffic accident and a police officer has probable cause to believe that person caused the accident, the officer may request that the person submits to drug and alcohol testing. The proposed Bill would require that the testing become mandatory and that an officer has a duty to obtain the test.

The Bill will specifically change the language from “the person may be requested to submit and successfully complete any test or tests,” to “the officer shall require the person to submit to and successfully complete any test or tests.” The Senate Bill is approximately 50% of the way through the process of becoming law. It still needs additional votes in both the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as a presentation to the Governor for approval.

If passed, the Bill could provide a benefit to injury victims and the family members of those killed in Arizona car accidents. If the mandatory testing leads to more findings that impaired driving was the reason for a fatality accident, it would be much harder for that driver and his insurance company to deny liability or try to argue that the victim was partially at fault. If you or a loved one has a question about a car accident that resulted in injury or death, contact one of our Scottsdale injury attorneys today.

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