Introduced by Rep. Barker (D-Aloha), HB 3085 expands the requirement by health care providers to notify law enforcement of the results of a blood test performed in the course of treatment if the blood contains a controlled substance and the person is believed to have been the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident.

Unfortunately, the medical community supported this proposal. The ACLU testified against HB 3085 because it not only requires health care providers to turn over medical information to law enforcement without a court order, it also requires disclosure even if the patient had consumed lawfully prescribed controlled substances, not illegal drugs. There is no evidence that the existence of a medication in a person’s system means the medication either caused or contributed to an accident.

Currently, the law authorizes health care providers to notify law enforcement if the person’s blood alcohol level meets or exceeds the legal limit under Oregon law. While we believe that law enforcement should be required to obtain a court order for this information (which we believe is easy to obtain), the existence of a blood alcohol level outside the authorized amount is illegal. The same, however, cannot be said for the existence of a lawfully prescribed controlled substance in a person’s system. The Senate Judiciary Committee removed language that required the release of not only a blood test but also urine and other diagnostic testing. While this was an improvement, if they decided to move forward with HB 3085, we urged the legislature to limit it to illegal drugs, not lawfully prescribed medication. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our efforts and HB 3085 B-Eng., became part of the final package of bills that moved out of both judiciary committees and we were not able to stop it.

LOSS: PASSED INTO LAW