Public Safety Committee Work Continues

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

Last week the House Public Safety Committee approved House Bill 2568 which seeks to further penalize drunk drivers who cause a major injury accident on the road. I voted for this measure in committee and will support it as it moves to the House floor.

More than 3,000 injuries occurred as a result of drunk driving in Oklahoma in 2010, according to data from the National Highway Safety Administration and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. There were also more than 200 fatalities. For these reasons, I will continue to support House Bill 2568, which would increase the maximum punishment for personal injury accidents involving DUI that result in major injury. The current maximum penalty is five years in prison and this legislation would increase it to a 10-year sentence. I am proud to be among the 82 lawmakers who voted for this legislation. There was only one vote cast against it.

In addressing the use of pseudoephedrine in the production of crystal meth as a growing issue in Oklahoma, a House committee passed House Bill 2941. The legislation seeks to help fight Oklahoma’s meth problem without negatively affecting law-abiding citizens. Under this bill, pharmacies would maintain an electronic log of the sale of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine and use a tracking service to ensure over-the-counter medicines containing these substances will not be sold to one individual by multiple pharmacies. The tracking service would issue a stop-sale alert if the maximum quantity had already been purchased by the customer. It would also contain the names of persons on the methamphetamine offender registry list.

The goal of House Bill 2574 is to reduce “doctor shopping” and prescription drug abuse by requiring doctors to use the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Prescription Monitoring Program to see what has already been prescribed to their patient. Oklahoma uses about 120 million dosage units of hydracodone each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The state ranks No. 1 in prescription drug usage per capita and more than 800 Oklahomans died last year due to prescription drug overdose.

Before I take a position on House Bill 2941 and 2574, I would love to hear how you feel about these potential laws. The language of these bills is available online at I look forward to hearing from you.

Finally, I would like to mention that one of my bills has been approved on the House floor. House Bill 2371 is a request bill intended to assist county clerks throughout Oklahoma by raising the amount that counties can issue as a blanket purchase order to cover the repair of county equipment to $5,000, making our policies consistent with current law.

As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at the Capitol at (405) 557-7407.

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