The Gazette Newspaper recently had an editorial that was entitled something like “the same circus with a new set of clowns”. This editorial expounded upon the crop of new legislators and the clownish new bills that some of them are proposing. Clowns in the circus: really on point. We addressed one of these new proposed bills earlier in the month in this blog. But, we’ve got another worthy of attention: House Bill 1659 introduced last Thursday, January 22, 2015.
But, before I go on, I must ask, while some of these guys might actually have Bar Numbers with the OBA, does anybody ever really READ these things – like a lawyer – before submitting them?? Anyway . . . ,
Click HERE to read this. The underlined part toward the end of it is the change at issue. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Okay, seems fine, right? Yeah, as long as it stays away from YOU or someone you love. Let’s look at this:
1. If you are involved in a wreck where someone immediately dies – wait: stop there – dies at the scene? On the way to the hospital? Once he gets to the hospital? Who calling the time of death?
2. This amendment would require you to submit to a breath or a blood test – taken to a hospital and have blood drawn from you to see what’s in there even though nothing you did contributed to this wreck, adding even MORE stress and trauma to you after being in what would likely be a pretty bad wreck – without ever being arrested.
3. Moreover, the language is SHALL SUBMIT to the test. Does this mean that you CAN’T refuse? I read it that it means just that. AND I can assure you, most cops and DA’s will read it that way, too . So, if you try to refuse, they will FORCE you to submit to a blood test. Hold you down and bleed you? All for nothing that you may have contributed to.
4. You do not have to have caused the wreck; just be involved. So, let’s play with this: A car stops in front of you, you stop without hitting him, but the guy behind you crashes into your rear pushing you into the car in front of you. The guy behind has a person – who is not wearing his seatbelt – thrown from his car and he is killed. YOU have to have a blood test?? That’s what this means.
5. The test result “shall be admissible” at trial. Trial of what? The civil negligence action filed by the family of the dead person? The criminal action? What criminal action? Doesn’t have to comply with the OTHER laws and Rules related to breath or blood testing? That’s right.
6. And, what is really the purpose of this? To charge more DUI’s? Can’t be anything else. But, in doing so, it is doing surgery with a sledge hammer instead of a scalpel. It potentially puts a large group of people in the path of this unnecessary procedure for nothing.
Really makes great sense huh?
Further, if you fail to submit, your license is revoked. No, it doesn’t say REFUSE to submit. It says FAILS to submit. Let’s look at this part of it for a second:
1. Same scenario as above. The wreck occurs with the immediate death. You’re hurt and go to the ER. Nobody asks you to take a breath or a blood test ‘cause they’re WAY too busy taking care of you. Your name is on the accident reports that are forwarded to the Department of Public Safety. They revoke your license? Sure, why not? There is evidence you were “involved” in an accident with an immediate death and you “failed” to submit to a test. Look for it coming to a driving record near you.
2. And, what if the officer never bothers to request this test? Is it YOUR burden to request it so that you are NOT revoked for “failing to submit”?
This is ANOTHER one that should NEVER be passed.
Charles L. Sifers
Attorney at Law
401 N. Hudson, 2nd floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
office – 405-232-3388
fax – 405-232-5144
Oklahoma‘s First Attorney Board Certified
in DUI Defense by National College for DUI Defense
(NCDD) under American Bar Association (ABA) Guidelines
Best Lawyers in America in DUI/DWI Defense Specialty, 2010 thru 2015 ed(s).
Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2015
Oklahoma‘s First Regent (retired) for the National College for DUI Defense
“The People should NOT be afraid of the Government. The Government should be afraid of the People“.