Proposed Legislation Aimed at Making DUI Laws More Strict

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New legislation is proposed in honor of two Bowling Green businessmen.

This comes as a result of a crash in June 2006 that took the lives of Bowling Green businessmen Cornelius Martin and Brooks Mitchell.

State Representative Jim DeCesare has pre-filed legislation to make Kentucky's "driving under the influence" (DUI) laws more strict.

You probably remember the fatal crash in June 2006 where Cornelius Martin and Brooks Mitchell were among a group of friends riding their motorcycles through Logan County.

Three of them men were struck by another driver. Martin and Mitchell died, and Bill Leachman was seriously injured.

The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash, Mickey Mosher, was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash, but the evidence was not admissible in court and she was found not guilty of manslaughter.

If passed, the Martin-Mitchell Act could begin holding intoxicated drivers more accountable.

Chuck Wells is a drug and alcohol concentration specialist. He and his co-workers provide collections for companies through a variety of ways.

"There's hair, there's urine, there's oral fluids and there's blood. Of course, we don't do blood at this location," said Chuck Wells, with Drug & Alcohol Concentration Specialists Inc.

When they test people, there are levels for each drug they look at to determine whether you pass or fail.

"When you get down to the molecular level when you're testing for drugs, there's what they call a cutoff level for each drug," Wells said.

But currently, there's not a cutoff level if you're out on the roads driving with more than alcohol in your system.

"There's not a threshold level if you have "x" nanograms of THC in your system or "x" nanograms of cocaine in your system. It's not like blood alcohol where the threshold level is .08," explained Chris Cohron, Warren Commonwealth Attorney.

This makes it difficult to determine what "under the influence" really means, especially in the courtroom.

"Drug intoxication cases are some of the hardest to prove because unless you have an eye witness to the impaired driving of the driver, you must call an expert to testify as to the levels of impairment possible under the blood test," Cohron said.

If passed, the Martin-Mitchell legislation would help to change this by allowing blood and urine tests that reveal particular drug levels to be admissible by themselves in court, instead of requiring a state lab official to testify about the drugs' effects.

"We charge people for being in possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and possession of methamphetamines, however we don't hold them to the same standards when in a vehicle and under the influence of these drugs. It just doesn't make sense not to have this bill," Cohron said.

And for someone who is giving drug tests daily, like Chuck, he agrees.

"You have to set levels for anything. Just like for alcohol, there's levels are set by the state" Wells assured.

The proposed legislation says all admissible tests would be required to take place within two hours of the traffic violation.

The breathalyzer test given during traffic stops would also come with a lower threshold for DUI charges, but the blood alcohol limit of .08 will remain the same.

Meanwhile the woman involved in the crash that killed Cornelius Martin and Brooks Mitchell, will be back in court Thursday, August 2.

Mickey Mosher will appear in Logan County before Judge Tyler Gill for a review in another case.

She has a trial coming up this month from an incident that occurred when she was out on probation back in January.

Mosher is accused of having marijuana in her possession when she went to the Logan County Jail for a drug test.

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