Michigan moms hoping to change law to let officers collect samples from patients
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Video of a Utah nurse being handcuffed after she refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient has gone viral, drawing outrage across the country.
Utah, like Michigan, generally requires officers to obtain a search warrant in order to collect samples like blood and urine in a case where they have probable cause that a suspect had been under the influence.
But, what if the accused refuses the test or a judge wont authorize the warrant?
Tuesday, we have the story of two Michigan moms who want the current law changed.
Two Traverse City mothers hope lawmakers will finally pass Billy's Law.
The bill was introduced after their husbands lost their lives to a drugged driver.
In 2013, John Pomeroy and Billy Kochis were driving to work near Grand Rapids when a driver, under the influence of cocaine and opiates, struck their car.
John and Billy's wives are fighting for healing and justice.
"It was the worst day of my life," said Shannon Kochis.
"He was the love of my life. And Billy was the love of Shannon's life. They were everything," said Mary Jo Pomeroy.
They feel like current law slapped them in the face, because officers were unable to perform a blood test without the driver's consent, and a warrant was not granted, so no blood test was conducted.
What has Shannon and Mary Jo upset is a urine test from the hospital later confirmed their husband's alleged killer was on drugs.
But because the prosecutor couldn't use that evidence in court, the driver was charged with a misdemeanor and only served nine months behind bars.
Right now, Shannon and Mary Jo are trying to pass Billy's Law, which would allow police officers to collect blood and urine samples with reasonable cause in the event of a serious car crash.
"With this bill, I wanted to close that loophole, so then people don't ever have to experience what we have experienced. Because when somebody doesn't get sentenced for killing to people and driving erratically under the influence of cocaine and opiates and they don't get sentenced, or you can't use the fact that they were influence in court because you can't use his urine, it's upsetting," Shannon said.
At least four other states have this law on the books.
Senator Wayne Schmidt says the passing of Billy and John is an example of law enforcement not being able to fully hold drugged drivers accountable.