[lcc4hl] FW: RELEASE: Drug Testing Improvement Measure Signed into Law

  • From: Lundy Kiger <lundy.kiger@xxxxxxx>
  • To: "lcc4hl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lcc4hl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:34:18 +0000


Oklahoma House of Representatives
Media Division
April 22, 2015

Contact: State Rep. Mike Ritze
Office: (405) 557-7338

Drug Testing Improvement Measure Signed into Law

OKLAHOMA CITY - A measure aimed at improving drug testing methods was signed
into law by Governor Mary Fallin yesterday.

House Bill 1494, by state Rep. Mike Ritze, improves drug testing devices for
impaired driving and he said the provisions entailed in the measure cover
screening devices important to the fight against impaired driving.

"When the technology is fully vetted by the board, the drug screening devices
will expand law enforcement officers' abilities to identify and detect drug
impaired drivers," said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. "The National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration recently released a report indicating drug impaired
driving is skyrocketing. We have to protect our citizens and our streets from
this concerning rise and this bill aides in that mission."

Ritze, a physician and surgeon with a Master's Degree in Forensic Science, said
the bill also extends the sunset on the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug
Influence from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2022. The bill also states that the
board is required to set rules and uniform standards for devices, equipment,
procedures and techniques for screening tests.

"It was very important that this state board be extended this session," said
Ritze, chairman of the House Public Health Committee and ranking member of the
Public Safety Committee. "Without amending language to extend this board, it
would have sunset this summer and that would have been very bad for the state.
This board has been great for Oklahoma and its mission of ensuring proper
screening tests for alcohol and other drugs are administered properly."

As stated in the measure, collection and analysis of a person's blood, breath,
saliva or urine, to be considered valid and admissible in evidence, shall have
been performed in compliance with the rules adopted by the Board of Tests for
Alcohol and Drug Influence. Also, an individual possessing a valid permit
issued by the Board for this purpose or shall have been performed by a
laboratory accredited in Toxicology by the American Society of Crime Laboratory
Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board.

Language in HB 1494 also adds the Dean of the Oklahoma State University College
of Osteopathic Medicine to the board. It also states that the chair and vice
chair of the board shall be up for election every two years.

"The changes to the board structure are merely to modernize the boards
operations," Ritze said. "It is the only board I know of structured with a
permanent chair not subject to election. Likewise, it was important to add a
representative from OSU since that school has a forensic science program."

HB 1494 goes into effect July 1.


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Attachment: RepMikeRitze.jpg
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