What is Louisiana’s Katie Bug’s Law?

Katie Bug’s Law was signed into effect by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. This law is intended to help families seeking justice over a fatal accident, and allows law enforcement officials to test a driver for drugs or alcohol in their system after a car crash, even if there were no immediate fatalities. As reported by KTBS News, if you are a driver involved in an accident in which a serious injury occurs, you will be required to take a drug test.

Louisiana Senate Bill 138 went into effect on June 20, 2019. Named after Bossier Parish’s 4-year-old Katie Grantham, who her family called “Katie Bug,” SB 138 allows law enforcement officials to administer a drug test to drivers after a serious injury auto accident. Previously, a drug test was only given after a fatal car accident.

On November 19, 2017, a driver who may have been under the influence of drugs ran a red light and slammed into Katie and her mother while they were driving north of Bossier City. Katie suffered a critical spinal cord injury and was taken to the hospital. Seven days later, Katie was removed from life support and passed away. Because she did not die during the car accident, the driver – who admitted to running the red light – was not tested for having drugs or alcohol in his system. He was instead taken to prison and served 10 days for a traffic violation because officials did not have evidence from a drug test to charge him with vehicular or negligent homicide.

With Katie Bug’s Law, Louisiana law enforcement officials may now determine how serious a car crash is and require that a driver undergo a drug test even if there are no fatalities at the scene of the accident.

This information about Katie Bug’s Law is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.