House Representative

Meza, Thresa "Terry"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/20/2021

Meza Files Colten's Law: HB 1287 Requires Blood Alcohol Testing If Motorist Hits A Pedestrian

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Joins In Support Of Colten's Law

AUSTIN--State Rep. Terry Meza on Friday filed legislation which will require motorists to be tested for blood alcohol level if they strike a pedestrian causing serious bodily injury or death.

Meza (Irving) said the bill, dubbed "Colten's Law," will "empower police officers to detain someone who has hit a pedestrian to test for the presence of drugs or alcohol in their system."

Meza noted the law is named after Colten Carney, who was struck and killed while walking to work on January 30, 2017. Colten, who suffered from Autism, had experienced a flat tire while on the way to work that morning and, eager to get to his job, decided to walk.

His mother, Michelle Carney, told the Herald-Banner newspaper of Greenville and Rockwall that it did not make sense that her son's body was tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol, but not the person who struck him.

Under current law, it is up to individual officers whether or not to detain someone to conduct blood alcohol testing if they have hit a pedestrian.

"Anyone who hits a pedestrian in this state causing serious bodily injury or death should not be allowed to leave the scene of that accident without having been tested for the presence of drugs or alcohol in their body," Meza said during a press conference at the Texas Capitol Friday afternoon.

The legislation, House Bill 1287, is supported by Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The MADD National Headquarters is in Meza's district. A spokesperson for MADD participated in Friday's press conference. "MADD is proud to support this bill," said Bill Cardamon of MADD.

CONTACT: Vince Leibowitz