Bill aimed at keeping more drugged, drunk drivers off the roads has cleared Senate
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Two Michigan moms are closer than ever to passing a bill they say will keep more drunk and drugged drivers off the roads.
John Pomeroy and Billy Kochis lost their lives to a drugged driver in a 2013 crash near Grand Rapids.
The driver served nine months behind bars.
A small sentence, the men's wives say, due to a loophole in the law.
Shannon Kochis and Mary Jo Pomeroy want drugged drivers to think twice about getting behind the wheel.
So, the two Traverse City moms are trying to get lawmakers to pass Billy's Law, named after Billy Kochis.
"If our bill were to become law, drivers who are believed to have caused a fatal or likely to be fatal accident on a Michigan roadway will have implied their consent to chemical test for their blood or urine," said Billy's cousin John Collins.
The drugged driver who caused the car crash didn't allow officers to administer a blood test.
"He took two amazing fathers away from this earth and walked out of the hospital that day and said no to a blood draw," Shannon said.
A search warrant wasn't granted, and the evidence that later showed their husband's alleged killer was under the influence of drugs wasn't admissible in court.
"He served nine months in jail for killing two men. Unacceptable," said Mary Jo.
"I don't believe justice was fully served," said State Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City).
Sen. Schmidt says this bill is long overdue.
"What we are concerned about is making sure we have all the evidence at a crash scene. Especially when it comes to blood and urine samples because drugs alcohol, every minute goes by, that evidence goes away," he said.
Shannon and Mary Jo drove three hours to Lansing Tuesday morning to continue their fight to honor their husbands and protect you from drugged drivers.
"I know Billy and John would not want any other family to deal with this," Mary Jo said.
"If this saves one life, then we did our job. If it makes people think twice about getting in the car knowing that they can be tested, just one person, then we did our job," said Shannon.
In February, Billy's law passed the State Senate. The fate of the bill now lies with the House Judiciary Committee.