More people are driving drugged than driving drunk

Speed kills but for the first time a study reported the number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after dying in a crash rose from almost 28 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2015. (Toby Talb

The study included any substance that can impair driving, including illegal drugs, prescription medications, legal non-medicinal drugs and over-the-counter medicines.

Despite alcohol still being the single most common DUI contributor, drunken driving has rather steadily declined during the past three decades while the rate of drugged driving continues to climb.

The report recommends states track data on drugged and drunk driving separately so they can estimate the size of the drugged driving problem.

For the first time, statistics show that drivers killed in crashes are more likely to be on drugs then drunk.

A survey from AAA shows a majority of OH drivers fear drugged drivers more thank drunk drivers.




The Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, national nonprofit safety groups, reported that 43 percent of fatally injured drivers with known test results tested positive for drugs, while 38 percent tested positive for alcohol. "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". Zero tolerance policies prohibit driving with any amount of specified drugs in the system; Driving Under the Influence of Drugs laws make it illegal to drive while impaired by any drugs; and Per Se laws set limits on the amount of certain drugs allowed in the system.

"Officers need to know more than they do for alcohol how to suspect drug impairment, and know that it can exhibit itself in different ways", Mr. Hedlund told the Duluth News Tribune.

For some drugs, the relations between a drug's presence in the body, its effects on driving and its effects on crash risks are complex, not understood well or vary from driver to driver. There were 18,493 crashes involving drugs from 2006 to 2015, according to traffic crash reports provided by the Michigan State Police.

Roadside screenings for drugs that use saliva are being tested, and tests that use breath are being developed, Hedlund said. Responsibity.org, the website for the alcohol responsibility group, is providing $100,000 in grants this year to IL and four other states to train officers. Some new efforts from across the US highlighted by the report include a competitive 2016 grant program through the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility that will give five winning states - Illinois, Montana, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin - $100,000 to supplement the implementation cost of Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement and Drug Recognition Expert training. Others may not believe drugs impair how they drive.

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