AUSTIN (Nexstar) — State Rep. Terry Meza (D-Irving) officially filed a bill Friday called Colten’s Law, which aims to crack down on drivers who hit pedestrians while under the influence.
The bill is named after Colten Carney, who was struck and killed by a car while the 24-year-old was walking to work nearly four years ago.
His mother then found out that while Colten’s blood was tested for substances, the driver’s blood was not, because existing law does not require it.
“We wanted to do something so that no other family has to question whether their loved one was killed by the negligence of someone else,” Michelle Carney, Colten’s mother said Friday.
She contacted Meza, who agreed to try to change the law.
“The bill would empower the police officers to detain someone who has hit a pedestrian to test for the presence of drugs or alcohol in their system,” Meza explained.
Existing law leaves it at the discretion of officers on scene to test the driver for substances in their system. Meza said that needs to change, because people can be under the influence without showing any physical signs.
“It’s important when it comes to the loss of life, that we err on the side of public safety and actually require that those persons who hit pedestrians causing serious bodily injury or death are tested to determine if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Meza explained.
Colten’s Law, officially House Bill 1287, is already supported by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD).