Report says more drivers killed in crashes are on drugs, not drunk

Report says more drivers killed in crashes are on drugs, not drunk

The rising prevalence of states legalizing marijuana, and ambiguity or confusion around what constitutes illegal impairment on pot, could be contributing factors to the rise in drug-related fatalities, the study's authors say.

Laws dealing with driving under the influence of drugs vary across the states and, Adkins noted, it's more hard to prosecute and convict a driver for drug-impaired driving (DUID) than for alcohol-impaired driving (DUI). "This is especially significant when you consider the number of years it took to get the public to fully understand the dangers posed by drinking and driving".

One of the report's key recommendations is increased training for law enforcement officers to help them identify and arrest drugged drivers.

A recently released report finds driving under the influence of drugs has become even more of a problem than driving under the influence of alcohol.

The majority of OH motorists now fear drugged drivers more than drunk drivers, according to a AAA survey.

The Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility dove into government data from 2015, the most recent available.


"There's not a quick and easy test to determine impairment by drugs", said Adkins, a Fayette County native, on Wednesday's "Talkline". "Drug impairment has different signs and symptoms - think of the difference between uppers and downers". This included illegal drugs, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medicines. Marijuana can increase crash risk by 22 to 36 percent, according to studies cited in the report.

"Alcohol is really simple because there is an objective test that shows a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 ... is too high to drive", Mr. Hedlund said. Of those, 37 percent had a blood alcohol level of at least.005, which is less than one drink for most people. "The more we can synthesize the latest research and share what's going on around the country to address drug-impaired driving, the better positioned states will be to prevent it". "The relationship between alcohol and crash risk has been known for 40 years".

MI is addressing that problem under a drugged driving pilot program signed into law by governor Snyder previous year.

Roadside screenings for drugs that use saliva are being tested, and tests that use breath are being developed, Hedlund said.

"If you are using a substance that might impair you, you shouldn't drive", Hedlund said.

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