Proposal Would Tighten Up Access to State Drug Database

Right now, any police officer with a case number can access Utah's Controlled Substance Database which, according to Sen. Todd Weiler (R-Woods Cross), makes it ripe for abuse.

Weiler is pushing SB 119, which would make it harder for law enforcement to access the database by requiring a court order.

"It's been abused," says Weiler. 

He points to a recent story where two vials of morphine went missing from an ambulance in Salt Lake County. Weiler says the police officer charged with investigating was able to rifle through the personal medical records of 600 firefighters. 

"He didn't find any evidence that any of them had taken the morphine, but the investigation resulted in two of the firefighters being charged for 'doctor shopping'," he says. Weiler notes both firefighters were eventually acquitted, but one spent over $40,000 defending himself from the charges.

Weiler also brings up another incident in which a small town police officer who had an addiction to pain pills combed through the database to see which residents had that particular medication. "He then went to their house, talked his way inside and was able to steal from their medicine cabinets."

Weiler's bill also allows a person whose information is in the database to see who has accessed their information.