“Joe’s Law” Passes AZ Senate Committee

February 10, 2017 - In The News

joseph smith

Arizona State Senate Bill 1045 passed a senate panel on the 26th with unanimous 7-0 approval, and will advance to the full state legislature for action. The bill – which is colloquially called “Joe’s Law” in memory of Joe Smith – proposes new mandates for drug and alcohol testing on Arizona roads. If passed, the bill would rule that all drivers give implied consent to drug and alcohol testing if they are involved in a serious crash.            This development comes seven months after the driver of a semi-truck failed to stop for slowed traffic on Interstate 10 just outside of Quartzsite, slamming into at least two vehicles. The horrific incident resulted in the deaths of Joe Smith and Joseph Garcia, and left Mary Lou Garcia paralyzed from the waist down. It also severely injured Joe’s three best friends, who were also in the car with him at the time. Despite the dire nature of the accident and the fact that a DPS trooper reported that the truck’s driver “seemed lethargic and tired” after the incident, no drug and alcohol screening was done. As a result, no charges have been levied against him and it will never be known whether or not drugs or alcohol played a role in this tragedy.            Joe’s parents, as well as his best friends Daniel “DJ” Purcell, Matthew West, and Kevin Hurley have been instrumental in raising awareness for this issue and SB 1054 is gaining a lot of traction. However, it has not been signed into law yet. Tana Smith is asking supporters to sign this petition online or in person to help ensure it passes.This is common-sense legislation; not only will the Smiths never know the true nature of what caused the accident to occur, but the people of Arizona and the United States were cheated out of that knowledge as well. Government agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keep statistics on impaired driving and motor vehicle crash causes in order to define problems. Those records need to be as accurate as possible to be useful in identifying and resolving the issues on our roadways. Considering that many decisions regarding DUI law are reliant on crash data, it is imperative that no impaired driver slip by. Image: Joe's Law would require drivers to be drug or alcohol tested for car accident deaths. (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2017, from http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/232026901-story

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