Requires investigating officers to field test and test blood alcohol levels of all drivers involved in auto accidents where serious physical injury or death occur; imposes rebuttable presumption of guilt for refusals; requires hospital to conduct such test where trauma/injury is considered too severe.
Ayes (61): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (1): Rivera
Excused (1): Squadron
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring breathalyzer tests of drivers involved in accidents causing serious physical injury or death
PURPOSE: Requires investigating officers to field test and test blood alcohol levels of all drivers involved in auto accidents where serious physical injury or death occur.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Subdivision 1 of section 603-a of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding paragraph (b) requiring an investigation of an accident scene to include the administration of field sobriety and a chemical test of blood alcohol level to all motor vehicle drivers involved in such accident.
JUSTIFICATION: Oftentimes when an automobile accident occurs and there is resulting serious physical injury, or even death, no test of blood alcohol level is conducted. This can be very disconcerting for the victim(s) and/or the victims' family who are left with many lingering unanswered questions about the cause of the accident which caused serious physical injury or death to a loved one -- and no recourse. Not only does this create unending emotional pain for many innocent people, but the integrity of the investigation is forever under a cloud of doubt.
By requiring the testing of the blood alcohol level -after an auto accident which causes serious physical injury or death many tormenting doubts would be alleviated and the validity of the Investigation would be intact.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011 REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION 2012 Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3769 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 14, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring breathalyzer tests of drivers involved in accidents causing serious physical injury or death THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 603-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 408 of the laws of 2001, is amended to read as follows: 1. In addition to the requirements of section six hundred three of this article, whenever a motor vehicle accident results in serious phys- ical injury or death to a person, and such accident either is discovered by a police officer, or reported to a police officer within five days after such accident occurred, the police shall conduct an investigation of such accident. (A) Such investigation shall be conducted for the purposes of making a determination of the following: the facts and circumstances of the acci- dent; the type or types of vehicles involved, including passenger motor vehicles, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycles, limited use motorcy- cles, off-highway motorcycles, and/or bicycles; whether pedestrians were involved; the contributing factor or factors; whether it can be deter- mined if a violation or violations of this chapter occurred, and if so, the specific provisions of this chapter which were violated and by whom; and, the cause of such accident, where such cause can be determined. (B) SUCH INVESTIGATION OF AN ACCIDENT SCENE SHALL ALSO INCLUDE THE ADMINISTRATION OF FIELD SOBRIETY AND A CHEMICAL TEST OF BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL TO ALL MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVERS INVOLVED IN SUCH ACCIDENT. THE INVES- TIGATING POLICE OFFICERS MUST INFORM THE DRIVERS OF SUCH TESTING REQUIREMENTS AND CONDUCT THEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER. THE REFUSAL TOEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08607-01-3 S. 3769 2
SUBMIT TO SUCH TESTING SHALL CONSTITUTE A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION OF GUILT AND SUCH REFUSAL SHALL BE DOCUMENTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER. IF PHYSICAL INJURIES DO NOT PERMIT SUCH CHEMICAL TESTING AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE, SUCH TESTS MUST BE ADMINISTERED AT THE HOSPITAL. THE RESULTS OF SUCH FIELD SOBRIETY AND CHEMICAL TESTS OR REFUSALS OF SUCH TESTS SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE POLICE INVESTIGATION REPORT. (C) The police shall forward a copy of the investigation report to the commissioner within five business days of the completion of such report. S 2. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 2 of section 603-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 408 of the laws of 2001, are amended, and two new paragraphs (c) and (d) are added to read as follows: (a) "commercial motor vehicle" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined in either subdivision four of section five hundred one-a or subdivision one of section five hundred nine-p of this chapter;
[and](b) "serious physical injury" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined in section 10.00 of the penal law [.]; (C) "FIELD SOBRIETY TESTING" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS "FIELD TEST" OR "BREATH TEST" PURSUANT TO SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER; AND (D) "CHEMICAL TEST" OF BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SECTION ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER. S 3. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.