(Trenton) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union) to give drivers the option to note on their driver’s license a penicillin allergy was approved by the full Assembly on Monday.
Approximately 5.4 million people in the United States suffer from an allergy to penicillin. The most serious allergic reaction to penicillin is an anaphylactic response, which develops immediately after penicillin exposure and can be life-threatening.
“Driver’s licenses are the most likely place to look for vital information,’ Quijano said. “From an identification card you can learn whether a person is an organ donor or even wears glasses. It makes sense for it to include information that could save a life in an emergency.”
The bill (A-1315) requires the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to permit a license and identification card holder to voluntarily indicate that the person is allergic to penicillin or any other type of drug or medication and, as a result, may be susceptible to an adverse reaction if treated with that drug or medication following a motor vehicle accident.
Under the bill’s provisions, the designation would be made in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Chief Administrator of the MVC. It is to be used to inform law enforcement officials or emergency medical professionals that a person is allergic to penicillin or any other type of drug or medication and, therefore, should not be treated with that drug or medication if incapacitated or otherwise unable to communicate as a result of an injury sustained in an accident.
“Some individuals wear special bracelets or necklaces to indicate their penicillin allergy,” Quijano added. “Having this information on your driver’s license is another way to ensure medical personnel are aware of this allergy in an emergency situation.”
The measure was approved 78-0-0. It was released by the Assembly Homeland Security Committee in May.