BENTON, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted the signing “Katie Bug’s Law” with a ceremonial bill signing in Benton Friday afternoon as the family of the little girl it honors looked on.
Named in memory of Katie Grantham, SB 138 allows officers to determine whether a driver should be tested for drugs in crashes that involve serious bodily injury. Previously, Louisiana law allowed for post-accident drug testing only when a collision results in an on-site fatality.
Katie was critically injured in a 2017 crash in Bossier Parish. She was taken off life support after seven days in the hospital. Because she later died in the hospital and not at the scene, the driver responsible for the crash was not drug tested. Authorities say the driver passed a field sobriety test, but when they later searched his truck, they say they found meth, pills, and alcohol.
“They allowed their love for their daughter, Katy to motivate them to try to make sure that fewer individuals, fewer families and communities, have to go through this again,” said Gov. Edwards.
“We’re glad we went through this process so that we can have a different outcome for other families,” said Katie’s mother, Morgan Grantham. “This is a loophole that had been in place for years and years and there were a lot of people affected by it.”
Gov. Edwards formally signed the legislation sponsored by Sen. Ryan Gatti into law June 20.