Kim Saks 0

Justice for Brett

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On October 4th, 2008, while training for a charity bicycle ride, Brett Saks was hit and killed by a driver under the influence of prescription drugs (specifically sleeping pills). The driver was found responsible for violating the 3 Foot Passing Law which requires drivers to give 3 feet when overtaking a bicyclist. The driver was fined $1800 and no other charges were brought, even though it is illegal to drive under the influence of the prescription drug that was found in his system. ARIZONA'S ROADS WILL BE SAFER FOR US ALL IF ALL TYPES OF DUIs ARE CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED AND DRIVERS ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. Arizona is one of only 3 states without a vehicular manslaughter statute. Because of this, drivers who take prescription drugs that affect their central nervous system are not held accountable for their actions in the event of the injury or death of another person (cyclist, pedestrian, other motorist or passenger). As defined in ARS 28-1381, it is unlawful for a person to drive while under the influence of any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the person's body. The list of drugs includes prescription drugs that have either a depressant or stimulant effect on the central nervous system. Even though it is illegal to drive under the influence of such prescription drugs, there is no standard for which to measure impairment (such as there is with alcohol). With no way to measure impairment and a shortage of officers trained as drug recognition experts (DREs), obtaining a conviction for a prescription drug DUI is a challenge. With a vehicular manslaughter statute, drivers under the influence of dangerous prescription drugs could be prosecuted and convicted. States with vehicular manslaughter (aka vehicular homicide) laws allow for easier conviction and more severe penalties for drivers who cause the death of another person, even when there is no premeditation, malice, or intent to kill. In other words, the unlawful killing of another person is a crime, regardless of whether it was an "accident" or not. Many people take prescription drugs responsibly and understand the potential dangers; however, there are also drivers who do not educate themselves and/or hide behind their doctor's orders. There must be consequences for those whose actions cause injury or death to others. Please take a step towards helping make Arizona's roads safer for all of us by signing this petition IN FAVOR of a VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER LAW in Arizona. Thank you, Kim Saks widow and mom of 2 in Chandler, AZ

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