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August 8, 2014 Increase in Prevalence of Drugged Driving in Van Buren County, Michigan

A deputy with the Van Buren County Sheriff's County discusses the increase he has seen in the number of drivers under the influence of drugs. A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), the deputy has pushed increased training for officers to better identify drivers impaired by drugs. This local news story provides a look inside this growing problem within the community, with three times as many drivers pulled impaired by drugs than alcohol. Watch the video.


August 7, 2014 Driving Impaired by Marijuana in Colorado

A 22 year-old Colorado driver has been charged with two counts of vehicular assault after causing a crash that injured six people. Charges allege that she was driving under the influence of marijuana. She admitted to "drinking one beer and smoked a bowl of marijuana" before driving. There is growing national concern that marijuana-impaired driving will increase in Colorado since the sale, production and use of marijuana has been legalized. A recent Congressional hearing noted that while overall traffic fatalities have decreased in Colorado, marijuana-related traffic fatalities increased 100 percent. Watch the video.


July 10, 2014 Among High School Seniors, Driving After Marijuana Use Surpasses Drunk Driving

A National Institute on Drug Abuse article provides interesting facts found by Dr. Patrick M. O'Malley and Dr. Lloyd D. Johnston of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, regarding High School seniors behind the wheel. Since 2008, Marijuana-drugged driving among HS seniors as driving after drinking alcohol declines. The effects of marijuana on road safety have been less clear compared to alcohol. However, we now have two findings that prove that driving after marijuana use is extremely dangerous and do have serious life threatening consequences. Read more.


July 8, 2014 Drugged Driving Key Issue in Australia

From Australia, Sam Dowdy discusses the problems occurring in the South East regarding drugged drivers in an article for The Border Watch. Limestone Coast Police Superintendent, Trevor Twilley, states reasons why there may be such a high level of drug detection recently. One reason could be that they now have the technology or trained members to actually detect the drug drivers, whereas they did not have before. That being said, he states that this is not just a problem to police; these drivers are putting other community members at risk. Supt Twilley states that nine people were detected for drug driving over just a recent weekend. "Their ages varied from 20 years old to 54," and "six were positive to cannabis, two were positive for methamphetamine and one for both cannabis and methamphetamine," he lists. Read more.


July 3, 2014 Government takes step closer to new drug-driving offence

From the UK, in a FLEETWORLD article, Natalie Middleton states that the government is taking steps closer to implementing new measure to crack down on drug-driving as well as removing the right for drivers to demand a blood or urine sample after failing a roadside breath test. Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research says that, "The key point is that no one taking prescription drugs in the way that their doctor tells them to should fall foul of the new drug-driving laws. We can now look forward to finally seeing drug testing rolled out across the country later this summer." Read more.


June 23, 2014 Study: Prescription Drugs Clouding Drivers

According to a study released by the Public Health Reports, more people are using multiple drugs at the same time and then driving on our roads. The author of the study, Fernando Wilson, states that, "In 1993, about one in eight drivers were using multiple drugs concurrently. By 2010, it was closer to one in five. That's a large increase in drug usage." U.S. News, reports this study and brings up the fact that according to the data that has been presented, we should not only picture young college-age drug-abusers because, deadly substance-related collisions are increasingly tied to older culprits. The table shown proves that 4.8 million adults ages 50 or older had used an illicit drug in the past year and the number of drugged drivers older than age 50 increased almost 12 percent. Read more.


May 29, 2014 MADD Canada Discusses Need for New Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Measures

Canada is in search for a better way to detect drugged drivers. More young drivers are on the road after smoking cannabis than driving after drinking. The current system the police are using to find these drivers is extremely expensive as it requires specialized training, only results in few charges and is time-consuming. Also, these physical coordination test results are not always accepted as valid proof. An improved system is in demand by Mothers against Drunk Driving Canada. Read more.


May 20, 2014 Drug-impaired driving is an increasing problem

Canada's lawmakers are requesting a study to be followed through to examine oral fluids tests to look into drug impairment on the roads. Breathalyzers are simply not enough. "It will be another tool for law enforcement as opposed to a replacement of the current system," said D'Arcy Smith, general manager of National Forensic Services. Read more.


May 16, 2014 College Men More Likely to Drive While Stoned

A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that college-age men are over three times as likely to smoke marijuana and drive than they are to drink alcohol and drive. A total of 44% of male marijuana users reported driving after smoking, as did 9% of female marijuana users. Although alcohol use is more common than marijuana use among this young population, marijuana users are much more likely to drive under the influence. There is a pressing need to educate drivers about the risks and harms of drugged driving. Read more. Study Abstract.


May 15, 2014 Marijuana Use Involved in More Fatal Accidents in Colorado

In a press release from the University of Colorado Denver, findings from a forthcoming study show that following the commercialization of marijuana for medical uses in Colorado in 2009, the prevalence of marijuana among fatally injured drivers increased. The increase in the proportion of marijuana-positive drivers was greater in Colorado than 34 states without medical marijuana from mid-2009 to 2011. Read more.


May 14, 2014 Association Between Riding with an Impaired Driver and Driving While Impaired

A study published by Pediatrics shows that earliness of exposure to alcohol or drug impaired driving and early licensure are independent risk factors for teenage impaired driving. A strong, positive dose-response existed between DWI and amount of prior exposure to DWI in the form of riding with an impaired driver. Read more.


May 9, 2014 Project SAM Releases 4/20 Report Card for Colorado

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) released an informative "4/20 Report Card" reviewing the changes seen in the state of Colorado following the legalization of marijuana. Early data show troubling developments including, among others, increases in hospital discharges for marijuana, increases in the amount of US postal packages with marijuana intercepted out of Colorado, and increases in the average number of positive employee drug test results for marijuana. Read more.


April 16, 2014 Increase in Drugged Driving Worries Piscataquis County Maine Law Enforcement

The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) of Piscataquis County Maine has been busier than usual this year investigating suspected drugged driving incidents. In this county the nonmedical use of prescription drugs and the use "medical" marijuana are particularly serious threats to highway safety. Many impaired drivers are impaired by more than one drug. Law enforcement officers are increasing their education about drugged driving through the Advanced Roadside Impaired Drive Education (ARIDE) program. Read more.


April 13, 2014 Drugged Driving on the Rise in Vermont

In response to the growing increase of drug-impaired driving in Vermont, Montpelier hosted a drugged driving summit for law enforcement and driving safety personnel. The challenge of drugged driving is "learning to identify drug impairment, finding fast and affordable tests, building convincing cases and educating the public to be alert for the potential taking medicines and driving." Leaders from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and the National Law Center of the National District Attorneys Association, among others, have helped bring the largely overlooked problem of drugged driving to the national spotlight. Read more.


March 26, 2014 Stephen Talpins Named 2014 ONDCP Advocate for Action

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has named Stephen K. Talpins as one of the 2014 Advocates for Action. These Advocates are individuals who are doing extraordinary things to improve the health and safety of their communities. Mr. Talpins is a practicing attorney and serves as Vice President of the Institute for Behavior and Health. He is a national leader on drugged driving issues, working to prevent drugged driving and its public health and safety consequences. Read more.


March 25, 2014 Teens Driving Under the Influence

A new study shows that teens that report riding with a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs are significantly more likely to report driving while impaired. Teens who were exposed to riding with an intoxicated driver were 120 times more likely to have driven while impaired compared to teens who were not passengers of impaired drivers. One researcher stated that "nearly half of fatalities and serious injuries in alcohol-related vehicle crashes occur to passengers, so it should be noted that the risk associated with driving intoxicated is not just to drivers." The public safety messages about impaired driving must include both alcohol and other drugs. Read more. Full Article.


March 11, 2014 Drugged Driving Legislation in Michigan

Michigan Representative Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Township) introduced a package of three bills focused on improving drugged driving enforcement and keeping repeat offenders off the roads. These proposed changes include the following: officers could issue temporary restricted licenses to drivers arrested for drugged driving; drivers arrested for drugged driving while out on bond for a prior drugged driving case would be subject to arrest and bond revocation; and, scientists at the Michigan State Police crime lab would be permitted to provide testimony through video conferencing in drugged driving cases. These are all important legal changes. Listen to the Podcast.


February 18, 2014 Driving and Marijuana - A Dangerous Combination

The Traffic Safety Guy presents a new podcast on the impact of marijuana on traffic safety. Substance-impaired driving, including marijuana-impaired driving, has become a priority for the National Transportation Safety Board. Chris Halsor, the Colorado Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, discusses the impact on impaired driving of the changing legal status of marijuana, including "medical marijuana" and marijuana legalization. Listen to the Podcast.


January 31, 2014 Drugged Driving Fatalities on the Rise

A new study shows that the prevalence of drugs among fatally injured drivers has risen over the last decade. Among over 23,000 fatally injured drivers, from 1999 to 2010, nearly one quarter (24.8%) tested positive for drugs. The prevalence of alcohol remained stable, with 39.7% alcohol-positive. During this time, marijuana-positive drivers tripled from 4.2% in 1999 to 12.2% in 2010. Changes in marijuana laws may further increase the prevalence of marijuana-related drugged driving. Read more.


January 28, 2014 AAPS Blog: Drugs Wreaking Havoc on Our Roads

As guest bloggers for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. and distinguished University of Florida Professor Mark S. Gold, M.D. highlight the role of drugs in impaired driving today. When used alone or in combination, including with alcohol, drug use puts drivers and others at serious risk. Reducing drugged driving is a national priority that will require public education and effective enforcement. There are no blood impairment thresholds for drugs, including marijuana, calling into question the recent legal changes for marijuana-impaired driving in the two states that have legalized marijuana use for adults. Authors stress the clear message "Don't Use Drugs and Drive." Read more.


January 28, 2014 Drinking and Driving is Unsafe at Any Level

A new study finds that drivers with very low blood alcohol concentrations (0.01 g/dL) are 46% more likely to be responsible for crashes than sober drivers they collide with. "Blame increases steadily and smoothly from BAC 0.01 to 0.24 percent." Researchers conclude that there is no safe combination of drinking and driving. These findings support initiatives to lower the legal BAC limit for drivers. Read more.


January 27, 2014 Impaired Driver Convicted of Murder

An impaired driver involved in a Michigan crash that killed two people was found guilty of second-degree murder, operating under the influence causing death, and operating with suspended or revoked license causing death as a second-time habitual offender. The 30-year-old driver responsible for the crash tested positive for prescription painkillers and alcohol. Read more.


January 21, 2014 Marijuana-Impaired Driver Crashes into Two Patrol Cars in Colorado

Less than two weeks after the start of legal marijuana sales in Colorado, a driver impaired by marijuana crashed into two parked police patrol cars near Denver. Marijuana use is a significant threat to public safety on our nation's roads. Ed Wood, an advocate for victims of drugged driving, discussed the drugged driving crash that killed his son. Marijuana use contributed to the driver's impairment. Read more.


January 20, 2014 AAA Colorado Addresses Marijuana-Impaired Driving

In a letter to the editor to The Coloradoan, a representative of AAA Colorado addressed the dangerous public safety threat of marijuana use by drivers. "Impaired driving puts all of us at risk and costs us more money, as increased crash rates lead to higher medical and auto insurance rates." Even though marijuana is legal under state law, driving while impaired by the drug - or any other substance - remains illegal. Read more.


January 13, 2014 New York Drugged Driver Sentenced 5 to 15 Years for Role in Deadly Crash

The 21-year-old drugged driver involved in a November 2012 crash that killed a 15-year-old girl and seriously injured two passengers was sentenced to 5 to 15 years after pleading guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide. The driver had smoked marijuana and taken two prescription benzodiazepines before driving impaired. During the sentencing hearing the judge addressed the court: "Driving under the influence of marijuana and prescription medication is a serious offense that puts us all at risk. If you partake in these actions, we will use every resource available to see that a just and fair sentence is imposed upon you, like the one today." Read more.


December 23, 2013 York Maine Police Step Up Fight Against Drugged Driving

Law enforcement officers in York, Maine are focusing on the role of drugs in impaired driving. Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) are called in for evaluations of drivers when drivers are charged with DUI but who have BACs less than 0.08. One DRE reports that most drugged driving cases involve multiple drugs, including alcohol. He says that it is most common for drugged drivers to be impaired by a combination of marijuana and alcohol. Reducing drugged driving is a national priority of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In order to achieve this goal, strong drugged driving laws are needed supported by effective testing and enforcement procedures. Read more.


December 20, 2013 Police Concerned About Increases in Drugged Driving

Changes in marijuana laws have prompted police concerns about increases in marijuana-related drugged driving. Washington State is "on pace to have a 50% increase in the number of marijuana impaired driving cases compared to the prior year." Law enforcement officers are reminding the driving public that driving impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is illegal. Read more.


December 16, 2013 New Podcast on Preventing Impaired Driving

David Wallace, the Traffic Safety Guy, released a new podcast on impaired driving. He speaks with Mike Brown, Chief of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection Division at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the public safety threat of impaired driving which causes motor vehicle crashes, deaths and serious injuries each year. December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Preventing impaired driving begins with the simple message: "Don't drink or use drugs and drive." Listen to the Podcast.


December 6, 2013 Prosecutors Face Obstacles in Drugged Driving Cases

From 2007 to 2011, drugged driving arrests increased 20% in New York State while drunk driving arrests decreased 15% during this time. However, successful prosecution of drugged driving cases in New York is limited by an outdated list of prohibited drugs included in statute. Presently if a driver is impaired by a drug not on the list, he or she cannot be charged with drugged driving. Read more.


December 1, 2013 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

President Barack Obama released a proclamation declaring December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. In it he stated, "Impaired drivers are involved in nearly one-third of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes in the United States, taking almost 30 lives each day. This is unacceptable. My Administration is committed to raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving, improving screening methods, and ensuring law enforcement has the tools and training to decrease drunk and drugged driving." At the same time, Canada Safety Council is using its National Safe Driving Week through December 7, 2013 to raise awareness on the public safety problem of drugged driving. Read more.


November 27, 2013 Data from the Washington State Toxicologist Shows Marijuana Prevalent Among Impaired Drivers

Preliminary data from Washington State Toxicologist Dr. Fiona Couper shows that marijuana is prevalent among drivers arrested for impaired driving who are drug tested. In the first six months of 2013, 27.2% of impaired drivers were positive for delta-9-THC. Many more drivers, 41.4%, were positive for carboxy-THC, a metabolite of THC which indicates marijuana use. In the same time frame, among drivers positive for delta-9 THC, 43% were below the per se limit of 5 ng/ml THC in blood. Similarly, in 2012, 38% were below this level and in 2011 51% were below 5 ng/ml. Read more.


October 29, 2013 IBH President Discusses Drugged Driving with Highway to Safety's David Wallace

David Wallace, the Traffic Safety Guy, is the leader behind Highway to Safety, a new podcast about traffic safety. In developing a forthcoming podcast on drugged driving, Mr. Wallace interviewed IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. Watch the interview. Listen to the podcast, Drugged Driving: What is it and What Can We Do About It?


October 3, 2013 California Bay Area News Team Investigates Drugged Driving

The NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit examined the problem of drugged driving in the state of California. Nationally, and in the state, the number of drug-involved drivers in fatal crashes has increased in recent years. In California, the majority of drugged drivers involved in fatal crashes are not convicted of DUI. In January 2014 California will begin to identify the number of drivers arrested for DUI who test positive for alcohol and who test positive drugs so that the drugged driving problem can be better tracked. Read more and watch news video.


September 16, 2013 Over One Quarter of High School Seniors Drive After Using Alcohol or Drugs, or Ride With Driver Who Has

New data from the Monitoring the Future Survey show that nationally, 28% of American high school seniors report driving a car after using alcohol or drugs or riding in a car with someone who has. Overall, the prevalence of this behavior has decreased since 2001. However, while driving after drinking alcohol has decreased, in the last three survey years, driving after marijuana use has increased. In 2011, 12% of seniors reporting driving after marijuana use. Researchers conclude that "stronger efforts are needed to combat adolescent driving under the influence of illicit drugs" with particular attention to marijuana. Read more. Article.


June 10, 2013 Marijuana Use is a Serious Highway Safety Threat: 5 ng/ml Marijuana Impairment Limits Give Drivers a Free Pass to Drive Stoned

After the passage marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado, there is a renewed interest in developing a marijuana impairment limit for drivers, similar to the 0.08 g/dl blood alcohol concentration limit used across the United States. The science on this issue is clear: it is not possible to identify a valid impairment standard for marijuana or any other drug equivalent to the 0.08 g/dl limit for alcohol. Washington now has a 5 ng/ml THC limit for drivers age 21 and older which will give the large majority of marijuana-impaired drivers a free pass to drive stoned. Worse yet, Colorado passed a 5 ng/ml THC permissible inference law, now the weakest drugged driving law in the country. IBH promotes the use of zero tolerance per se limits for marijuana. This has been the standard for safety-sensitive roles for decades and is supported by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Read more.


May 24, 2013 We Save Lives Launches

We Save Lives (WSL) is the collective voice representing the public and private sectors concerned with drunk, drugged and distracted driving and their immediate and deadly threat on our highways. WSL includes a media center, legislation hub, personal stories and a blog of the ongoing work related to these highway safety threats. Read more.


May 3, 2013 Nearly One Quarter of Teens Drive While Impaired

A survey of 11th and 12th grade students in the United States conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that nearly one quarter of teens admit to driving under the influence of marijuana, prescription drugs or alcohol. Remarkably 41% of teens believe that marijuana has no impact on driving and 34% believe marijuana use actually improves driving; only 25% believe marijuana use makes you a worse driver. By comparison, the majority of teens (62%) report that alcohol worsens driving. These startling results have serious implications for road safety as motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people. Read more.


March 21, 2013 Marijuana Use By Pilot Contributed to Fatal Plane Crash

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released a report on the October 2011 crash of a commercial flight that killed the pilot and one passenger and seriously injured two other passengers. The TSB concluded "The concentrations of cannabinoids were sufficient to have caused impairment in pilot performance and decision-making on the accident flight." CBC News confirmed that Air Tindi has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Full report. CBC News Article.


March 4, 2013 New Study Shows Effects of Marijuana on Driving Skills

Science Daily highlighted new research published in Clinical Chemistry on the detection of marijuana in the blood of daily marijuana smokers over the course of a month of abstinence. Researchers demonstrated that cannabinoids can be detected in chronic smokers after a month of abstinence, consistent with persisting neurocognitive impairment seen among these drivers. Researchers conclude that per se drugged driving laws for marijuana may help reduce drugged driving. Read more.


February 20, 2013 New Drugged Driving Bill in California

Democratic Senator Lou Correa of Santa Ana, CA has introduced a new zero tolerance drugged driving per se bill under which driving with any detectable amount of a scheduled drug without a valid prescription would be a violation. In a press conference announcing the introduction of the bill, former Lt. Bob McGrory shared the tragic story of the death of his son, a CA highway patrolman who was killed by a drugged driver but the case ended in a hung jury. The McGrory family tragedy is one example of how current California laws fail to hold drugged drivers accountable. The proposed zero tolerance per se drugged driving law would be an important new tool for law enforcement and prosecutors in the battle against drugged driving. Read more.


February 11, 2013 Colorado Should Not Adopt a Permissible Limit for THC

Colorado is considering a 5 nanogram/ml blood limit for THC in drivers, a policy that would give drugged drivers a free pass. More than 70% of blood samples tested from Colorado drivers arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana are below 5 ng/ml THC. Under a 5 ng limit for THC, few of these drivers would be charged or convicted. Ed Wood, an advocate for improved drugged driving laws and enforcement, explains in The Denver Post why the 5 ng/ml limit is not a good option for public safety or public health. Read more.


January 15, 2013 Arizona Drug-Related DUIs Rising

The Arizona Republic reports an increasing percentage of arrests for driving under the influence is related to prescription and illicit drugs rather than alcohol. According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, while the total number of DUI arrests in Arizona decreased 13% from 2011 to 2012, the number of drug DUI arrests increased 12%. Improvements in enforcement and education among officers and drivers about drugged driving are vital to reducing this public safety problem. Read more.


January 10, 2013 Marijuana Drugged Driver Sentenced for Fatal California Hit and Run

In March 2011, a driver high on marijuana in California hit and killed a motorcyclist and fled the scene leading police on a high-speed chase. The driver pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, assault with a deadly weapon and evading an officer, sentence to more than 12 years. Read more.


December 20, 2012 IBH President Weighs in on Drugged Driving

IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. was featured on the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) blog of journalist Jim Gogek. Dr. DuPont notes that there is no 0.08 g/dL BAC equivalent for drugs of abuse, including marijuana. The zero tolerance per se standard is the only workable standard to use. Marijuana legalization will increase use, and will result in huge increased costs in highway safety. Read more. Read Jim Gogek's entry, "Legalization May Mean More Drugged Driving - And More Drunk-Drugged Driving."


December 19, 2012 First Marijuana Involved Fatal Crash in Vancouver, Washington After State Legalization

A Washington driver who reported recently using marijuana was arrested after hitting a pedestrian who died on the scene. The arresting officer identified signs of drug impairment and a portable breath test detected no recent alcohol use. This is the first deadly crash involving marijuana in Clark County, WA since the passage of state-based marijuana legalization. Read More.


December 18, 2012 Marijuana-Impaired Driver Arrested for Deadly Hit and Run

An Arizona driver involved in a hit and run was arrested by officers and found to be under the influence of marijuana. The other motorist involved in the crash died as a result of her injuries. Read More.


December 13, 2012 Speaking Out Against Drugged Driving

Ed Wood's son Brian was killed in a crash in 2010 when two women drugged on marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin were driving an SUV that crossed into Brian's lane. Since that time, Ed Wood has joined a chorus of voices speaking out against drugged driving. He has created a drugged driving victims network Deception Pass 3. Read more. Drugged driving presents a deadly risk to everyone on the road. Learn more about efforts to reduce drugged driving this December which is National Impaired Driving Month.


December 3, 2012 Department of Transportation Reaffirms Marijuana's Inclusion in Regulated Drug Testing Program

In light of recent state-based changes to marijuana laws, including legalization in Colorado and Washington and "medical" marijuana in other states, the U.S. Department of Transportation reaffirmed the inclusion of marijuana in its regulated drug testing program. The Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation 49 CFR Part 40 "does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason." DOT reiterates that "it remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation's drug testing regulations to use marijuana." Read More.


December 2, 2012 Drugged Driver in California Sentenced to 10 Years

A drugged driver involved in a serious hit-and-run crash in California was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. As The New Zealand Herald reports, the injured Kiwi cyclist suffered 20 facial fractures and a broken arm. The driver tested positive for alcohol, mushrooms and marijuana after the crash. Read More.


December 1, 2012 Santa Cruz California Police Captain Confirms that Marijuana Kills More Motorists than Alcohol

In a letter to the editor to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Matt Olson, Captain of the Santa Cruz-area California High Patrol, highlights the fact that locally, marijuana use by drivers results in more crashes, injuries and deaths than alcohol use. He urges for increases in effective education about the dangerous impairment caused by marijuana use. Read More.


November 20, 2012 Survey of California Drivers Shows 14% Positive for Drugs; More Drivers Positive for Marijuana than Alcohol

The California Office of Traffic Safety released results of a 2012 roadside survey of nighttime weekend drivers. One in seven (14%) drivers tested positive for drugs that may impair driving while 7.3% tested positive for alcohol. Slightly more drivers, 7.4%, tested positive for marijuana. More than one quarter of all marijuana-positive drivers also tested positive for another drug. This study demonstrates the growing prevalence of drugs among drivers which poses serious risk of crash and injury. The percentage of California drivers involved in fatal crashes that tested positive for drugs has increased since 2006, reaching 30% in 2010. California transportation groups are working to increase drug testing and the detection and prosecution of drugged drivers to reduce this public safety problem. Full Report. Press Release.


November 15, 2012 Drugged and Drunk Driving Among Top Ten Transportation Challenges for 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identified substance-impaired driving as one of the top ten transportation safety challenges for 2013, noting in particular the role of drugs in transportation accidents. The NTSB Top 10 List is designed to generate increased government, public, and industry awareness and support for changes needed to reduce traffic-related accidents and save lives. The consequences of drugged driving include traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Read more. Top Ten Challenges.


September 20, 2012 Roadwise Rx, a New AAA Tool for Identifying Potentially Impairing Prescriptions

"Developed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Roadwise Rx is a free online tool designed to allow you to record your prescription and over-the-counter medications in one central location, and to receive personalized feedback about how drug side effects and interactions between medications may impact your safety behind the wheel." Roadwise Rx.


September 6, 2012 Alcohol and Drugs are Common in Fatal Crashes

A new study examining data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) showed that well over half (57.3%) of all fatally injured drivers tested positive for alcohol or other drugs; 20% of all drivers were positive for more than one substance. This study confirms the presence of drugs among fatally injured drivers; however, wider testing of drivers in more states and use of larger drug test panels are needed. Read more. Study abstract.


September 6, 2012 Governors Highway Safety Association Broadens Drugged Driving Policy

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) broadened its policy on drugged driving, encouraging states to adopt per se drugged driving laws and enhanced penalties for driving under the influence of multiple drugs (e.g. combination of alcohol and drugs, or two or more drugs). In addition, GHSA encourages increased testing of drivers, including fatally injured drivers, and the development of standard laboratory drug testing procedures. Read more. Revised Policy.


September 4, 2012 UK Driver Drugged on Marijuana and Ecstasy Banned from Roads

A driver in Jarrow, UK was found by police slumped over the wheel of his car, obstructing traffic after consuming marijuana and ecstasy. Police reported a strong smell of marijuana in the car; recent use of the drug by the driver was confirmed by a blood test after an alcohol breath test was negative. Read more.


August 31, 2012 Drugged Driver and Mother Kills Husband and Daughter in Virginia Crash

A 37 year-old woman crashed her car in November 2011 after smoking marijuana and using two prescription drugs, killing her husband and 20 year-old daughter. She was also seriously injured. The drugged driver has plead guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and will be sentenced by the Virginia court in November 2012. Read more.


August 29, 2012 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Notes Rise in Drugged Driving Cases

The Pennsylvania DOT is working to raise awareness of the problem of drugged driving. While the number of alcohol-related crashes has decreased, the number of drug-related crashes has increased in recent years. Read more.


August 14, 2012 Drugged Driver Facing Vehicular Homicide, Other Charges, After Crash that Killed Three

A woman who crashed her car killing three women in upstate New York in 2011 has been charged with vehicular homicide, among other charges, including driving under the influence of drugs. At the time of the crash the driver had prescription drugs including Xanax, Wellbutrin and Seroquel in her system. It is unclear if she had valid prescriptions for these drugs. Read more.


August 8, 2012 Crackdown on Drugged and Drunk Driving in North Wales

The Free Press reports over 10,000 drivers in North Wales were breath tested for alcohol and drugs as part of an anti-drink and drug campaign. Read more.


August 8, 2012 Public Health Department in Massachusetts Town Takes on Drugged Driving

In Needham, Massachusetts, a Needham Coalition for Youth Substance Abuse Prevention (NCYSAP) is working to educate local residents on prevalent substance abuse issues, beginning with drugged driving. Teaming with the offices of local police, public health, and public schools, NCYSAP is branching out to provide education at the community level. Read more.


July 27, 2012 Drugged Driver Jailed for Killing Friend

The West reports that an Australian drugged driver has been sentenced to 6.5 years after crashing her car, killing her friend who sat in the front passenger seat and seriously injuring his son who sat in the back seat of the vehicle. The driver crashed and rolled her car after using methylamphetamine. The driver must serve 4 years of her sentence before being eligible for parole. Read more.


July 10, 2012 New York Drugged Driver Sentenced to 3 to 9 Years after Fatal Crash

An Associated Press article in the New York Times reports that a drugged driver from Long Island was recently sentenced to 3 to 9 years after a plea agreement was reached in a case dating back to April 2010. At the time of arrest, the driver had a stolen prescription drug pad and more than 50 painkillers. The driver hit and fatally injured a woman who was mowing her lawn. Read more. Nassau County reports that the driver pleaded to manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, operating a motor vehicle while impaired by the combined use of drugs, among other charges. Read more.


July 1, 2012 The Mirage of Impairing Drug Concentration Thresholds

A new article published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology describes the many reasons why the development of drug blood concentrations equivalent of the 0.08 g/dL BAC for alcohol is a mirage. "Withholding drugged driving legislation pending the acquisition of such data is tantamount to a plan for inaction with regard to an important and growing public health and safety problem." Authors promote the use of the per se standard for illegal drugs. Article abstract.


May 21, 2012 National Transportation Safety Board Holds Forum on Impaired Driving

This month the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a forum entitled, Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Substance-Impaired Driving, in Washington, DC. IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD was one of many experts who participated, speaking about "The Role of Drugs in Impaired Driving: The Effects of Drugs on Driving and Identifying Impairment." Dr. DuPont encouraged the NTSB to play a leading role in identifying the impact of illegal drug use in driving. DuPont Prepared Remarks. NTSB Forum Information. Video Archive.


April 20, 2012 "Medical Marijuana" Law in Michigan Does Not Protect Marijuana Users who Drive

Three Appeals Court judges in Michigan overruled the decisions of two lower courts that that previously ruled that "medical marijuana" users were protected from the per se drugged driving law when it came to identification of marijuana by the driver. The new ruling means that drivers who use marijuana, a federally scheduled drug of abuse, constitutes a violation of the per se drugged driving law. Read more.


April 19, 2012 Drug Testing and the Future of Drug Policy & Drugged Driving

IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. was the plenary speaker at the 2012 Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. DuPont discussed the important role of drug testing in drug policy today and future uses and development needs, including those related to drugged driving. Read more.


April 12, 2012 Curbs Planned on Motorists Who Abuse Prescription Drugs in the UK

Implementing and enforcing effective drugged driving laws has become a focus for the United Kingdom. At present, drugged drivers involved in fatal crashes are subject to lighter sentences than if they had been drinking. The new efforts across the UK, including developing per se laws, will help identify and prosecute drugged drivers, and in turn, will reduce this public safety problem. Read more.


March 27, 2012 New 24/7 Sobriety Program in the United Kingdom

The 24/7 Sobriety Program, first pioneered in South Dakota, is heading to London for the summer of 2012. Offenders with alcohol problems will be given the choice of participating in the program where they will wear alcohol monitoring bracelets to detect any alcohol use. Under the 24/7 Sobriety program, any detection of alcohol or drug use or other violation is met with immediate, brief consequences. Read more. South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Program.


March 4, 2012 Driving High is a Treat to the Public

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) published a guest op-ed in the Denver Post on the importance of implementing drugged driving per se laws to reduce this serious public safety problem. Research has shown that marijuana is the most common drug among drugged drivers and its use doubles the risk of crash. Director Kerlikowske urges Colorado to pass a drug per se law as the debate on marijuana-related issues in the state moves forward. Read more.


February 29, 2012 Drug Use Rises in California Fatal Crashes

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) released new data showing that drugged driving in California continues to rise. A total of 30% of all drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in California in 2010 tested positive for drugs. OTS and the California Highway Patrol are now working together to provide officers with specialized training to detect and apprehend drugged drivers. Read more.


February 23, 2012 19% of Teens Report Driving After Smoking Marijuana

A new study of 11th and 12th graders conducted by Liberty mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) shows that 19% of teens reported driving after smoking marijuana. This corresponds with recent increases in marijuana use among youth and decreases in the number of teens who think marijuana is impairing. In comparison, 13% of teens reported driving under the influence of alcohol. Read more.


February 10, 2012 New Study Shows Marijuana Use Doubles Risk of Crash

A new meta-analysis from Canadian researchers published in the British Medical Journal shows that smoking marijuana significantly increases - nearly doubles - the risk of crash. Rates of drugged driving have surpassed rates of drunk driving among youth in areas of Canada causing significant concern for public safety. Smoking marijuana impairs driving skills, with greatest risk for crash among young drivers and those who combine marijuana with alcohol. Read more.


January 31, 2012 Police Seek Help Identifying Drugged Drivers

Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Mark Pryor of Arkansas have proposed that federal funding in a pending transportation funding bill be used for research and to train police officers to identify drugged drivers. In addition to illegal drugs, prescription drug abuse poses a threat to the nation's roads. National self-report and roadside surveys have clearly demonstrated that drugged driving is a serious public health and public safety problem. Read more.


January 27, 2012 Father of Victim in Drugged Driving Crash Speaks Out

Brian Wood was a fatally injured victim in a drugged driving crash that took place in Washington State in 2010. Before the imminent crash Brian swerved his car saving the life of his wife, then pregnant with their first child. Brian's father Ed Wood is now speaking out across the country advocating for the implementation of drugged driving per se laws and increased drugged driving enforcement. Ed Wood has also started a DUID Victim Registry, www.DeceptionPass3.com. Watch a Local News Report of Brian's Story. To learn about current drugged driving laws Visit www.StopDUID.org.


December 8, 2011 New IBH Commentary on Marijuana Impaired Driving

While "medical marijuana" and marijuana legalization are common topics in the news, little attention is given to a large and growing body of research showing that marijuana impaired driving is a major cause of crashes, injuries and deaths. The large and ever-growing evidence that marijuana use is a significant contributor to highway crashes and deaths should be highlighted in any discussion of "medical marijuana" laws or marijuana legalization, which by all accounts increase this drug's availability and use. Read more.


December 6, 2011 Presidential Proclamation Announces National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

President Barack Obama announced December 2011 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The Obama Administration is committed to decreasing the incidence of drugged driving by 10% over the next 5 years as outlined in the 2010 and 2011 National Drug Control Strategies released by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. ONDCP is collaborating with state and local governments to "bolster enforcement efforts, implement more effective legislation, and support successful, evidence-based prevention programs" to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the nation's roads. Presidential Proclamation.


November 9, 2011 Russian Pilot Under the Influence of Marijuana Barred from Flight

A health check revealed that a pilot due to fly a passenger plane from Magadan to Moscow, Russia was trying to do so under the influence of marijuana. Doctors who conducted the pre-flight medical check were concerned by the pilot's high pulse rate, high blood pressure and slow reactions. Tests revealed the pilot had smoked marijuana. Read more.


October 17, 2011 Mothers Against Drunk Driving Teams with Office of National Drug Control Policy to Combat Drugged Driving

ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske, and Jan Withers, National President of MADD announced a new partnership to raise public awareness regarding the consequences of drugged driving. MADD has launched a national effort to provide support to the victims of poly-abuse and drugged driving and to recognize law enforcement officers for their achievements in drugged driving enforcement. ONDCP also released new resources produced by ONDCP for parents and teens aimed at educating young drivers regarding the perils of driving while under the influence of drugs. Read more. ONDCP's Teen Drugged Driving Activity Guide.


October 10, 2011 Marijuana Use May Double the Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes

A new meta-analysis of epidemiological studies shows that drivers who test positive for marijuana or report driving within three hours of using marijuana are more than twice as likely as other drivers to be involved in motor vehicle crashes. Researchers also found evidence that crash risk increases with the concentration of marijuana-produced compounds in the urine and the frequency of self-reported marijuana use. This study published in Epidemiological Reviews has significant implications for laws and enforcement related to both drugged driving and "medical marijuana." Read more.


September 28, 2011 Office of National Drug Control Policy Recognizes National Association of Drug Court Professionals as Key Leader in Addressing Drugged Driving

The latest issue of the DWI Court Reporter, a publication of the National Center for DWI Courts, highlights steps taken by the Office of National Drug Policy to reduce drugged driving and to promote and enforce drugged driving laws. ONDCP has made reducing drugged driving by 10% by 2015 a national priority. ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske commends the leadership provided by the National Association of Drug Court Professions to recognize drugged driving as a national issue. NADCP now supports the admission of individuals who present a pattern of substance dependency and are convicted of operating under the influence of an impairing substance other than alcohol into DWI Courts and Drug Courts. Read more.


September 13, 2011 Drugged Driving Due to Prescription Drug Abuse Rising in Palm Beach County, FL

Prescription drugs are playing larger roles in traffic crashes in Palm Beach, Florida. In particular, Xanax and Oxycodone are commonly found in deadly crashes -- often in combination with alcohol. Few drivers prosecuted for drugged driving have prescriptions. Rates of drugged driving are hard to gauge and likely underreported because some enforcement agencies do not distinguish between drug impairment and alcohol impairment. Read more.


August 24, 2011 New Campaign Targets Drugged Drivers in Colorado

This month the Colorado Department of Transportation launched a new high-visibility drugged driving campaign. The campaign comes at a critical time with Colorado law enforcement officers reporting increases in the number of drivers under the influence of marijuana and a rise in the number of "medical marijuana" users on the roads. Campaign billboards and posters send strong messages to the public about the dangers of drugged driving and its consequences. Read more. Colorado DOT Campaign Website.


July 7, 2011 LA Times Reports Stoned Driving is Uncharted Territory

The Los Angeles Times brought much-needed attention to the problem of drugged driving. With 16 states permitting marijuana use for "medical" purposes, the role of marijuana in crashes is a growing concern. As Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said, "Marijuana is a significant and important contributing factor in a number of fatal accidents." New research is being conducted on the role of marijuana in drugged driving and drugged driving laws are being refined. IBH promotes zero tolerance per se drugged driving laws as the most effective way to reduce drugged driving. Read more. On July 9, 2011, a Letter to the Editor on the article by IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. was published.


June 30, 2011 "Drugged Driving - The Hidden Dangers" Webcast

The Multijurisdictional Task Force Training program presents an hour-long webcast entitled Drugged Driving: The Hidden Dangers. Experts include Stephen Talpins, IBH Vice President and Former Prosecutor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Tim McClure Jr., Investigator and Drug Recognition Expert, and Dr. Marilyn Huestis, Senior Investigator and Chief, Chemistry and Drug Metabolism Section of the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The group discuss the problem of drugged driving including the most prevalent drugs, challenges in roadside identification of impaired driving, and the Delaware's Office of Highway Safety efforts to raise awareness for the issue. Watch the webcast.


June 27, 2011 ONDCP and NIDA Release IBH White Paper on Drugged Driving

The Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Office of National Drug Control Policy, developed a White Paper that summarizes the information currently available about drugged driving and provides a perspective regarding future research needs. IBH convened an expert committee to develop this report, which included top leaders across a broad spectrum of related disciplines such as research, public policy, and law enforcement. Read more.


June 21, 2011 Drugged Driver Killed Police Officer After Smoking Marijuana, Sentenced to 5 to 15 Years in Prison

Justin Malik had marijuana in his system when he turned his car into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, killing off-duty police officer Chris Yonker in October, 2008. Malik was convicted of impaired driving causing death and driving with a suspended license causing death in Michigan's Barry County Circuit Court. He admitted to smoking marijuana 5 hours before the crash, testing positive at 4 ng of THC and a low BAC of 0.01. Drugged driving due to marijuana use remains a public health and safety problem. Marijuana is not a harmless drug. Read more.


June 2, 2011 "Medical Marijuana" and Drugged Driving

In a newly revised commentary, IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. addresses the important questions surrounding the effects of "medical marijuana" on drugged driving detection and enforcement. Lawmakers in Colorado recently considered setting a blood-content threshold for marijuana for drivers because of "medical marijuana" laws. Research clearly shows that setting any blood-content threshold is not a viable option because most drivers arrested for suspicion of drugged driving would not reach the threshold for detection. IBH strongly supports the national standard of zero tolerance that has been successfully used for commercial drivers; "medical marijuana" is not recognized as a defense for a positive drug test. The zero tolerance standard for marijuana and any other illegal drug of abuse for all drivers is the best way to keep our highways safe. Read more.


May 9, 2011 Montana Signs Into Law New 24/7 Sobriety Program

The Montana Governor recently signed into law House Bill 106 to create a statewide testing program for repeat DUI offenders. Based on the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety program, offenders will be alcohol breath tested twice a day, every day, at their own expense from the time arrested until their sentence is completed. The bill received strong bipartisan support, passing by a count of 97-2. It comes after Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock introduced the state to a pilot 24/7 Sobriety program in Lewis & Clark County, Montana. Read more. Read more. Read more.


March 29, 2011 UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Passes Resolution to Prevent Drugged Driving

Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske co-led a US Delegation attending the United Nations' Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, Austria. At the Commission, Director Kerlikowske and the US Delegation introduced a historic resolution that calls for the international community to work together to prevent drugged driving. Read more. CND Resolution.


March 14, 2011 Efficacy of South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project

An evaluation findings report on the long-term effects of South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project upon DUI recidivism demonstrates that the program is very successful in addressing offender sobriety while individuals are in the program. Participants who participate in twice-daily breath tests have lower rates of DUI recidivism when compared to individuals who do not participate in the program. For repeat offenders, even minimal days of participation in 24/7 Sobriety positively impact recidivism rates and individuals with at least 30 days or program participation demonstrate a greater reduction in recidivism. Read more.


February 11, 2011 IBH President Discusses Drugged Driving at the 2011 CADCA Leadership Forum

IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. was part of a joint presentation entitled Drugged Driving: Confronting An Epidemic. Dr. DuPont explored why the problem of drugged driving has previously been overlooked and why it is a national priority now. He documented the prevalence of drugged driving among different driving populations including seriously injured, fatally injured and randomly stopped drivers. He explained why there cannot be an impairment standard for illegal drugs as there is for alcohol and what ideas and programs organizations like CADCA among other can promote to address this public health and safety problem. PowerPoint Presentation.


February 7, 2011 IBH Honors ONDCP Director Kerlikowske for his Leadership to Reduce Drugged Driving

On February 7, 2011, IBH presented the John P. McGovern Award for leadership in drug abuse prevention to R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) for his distinguished leadership in drugged driving prevention and enforcement, including recognizing drugged driving as a national priority in the 2010 National Drug Control Strategy. The meeting was a celebration of Director Kerlikowske's leadership and an expression of gratitude and respect from the impressive audience of 60 national leaders in highway safety and substance abuse prevention, treatment and research. Meeting Summary.


January 25, 2011 Montana House Judiciary Committee Endorses Bill to Expand 24/7 Sobriety Program

Montana House Bill 106 was unanimously endorsed by the House Judiciary Committee today which would direct the State Justice Department to help expand the 24/7 Sobriety Program that has been implemented in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. With strong bipartisan support, this measure will head to the House floor. If passed, the program would require second and subsequent DUI offenders to take a breath test twice a day, every day, from the day they are arrested until they are sentenced. The 24/7 Sobriety Program has had great success in South Dakota in reducing DUI recidivism. Read more. South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Program.


December 20, 2010 CESAR Fax Shows Recent Increases in Drug Involvement Among Fatally Injured Drivers

The latest CESAR Fax published by the University of Maryland, College Park shows that the percentage of fatally injured drivers testing positive for drugs has increased over the last five years. Each year between 56% and 65% of drivers fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes were tested for the presence of drugs in their systems. In 2009, 33% of drivers with known test results tested positive for at least one drug compared to 28% in 2005. In 2009 marijuana was the most prevalent drug found in this population. Approximately 28% of fatally injured drivers who tested positive were positive for marijuana. This data indicates that drugged driving remains a national and growing problem on the nation's roads. Read more.


December 14, 2010 The Compelling Traffic Safety Media Campaign of Victoria Australia

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) of the Australian province of Victoria has a long history of dynamic, graphic television ads related to traffic safety, including impaired driving. The first TAC commercial went to air in 1989 when there were 776 traffic fatalities. After 20 years, the number has fallen to 303. In a 20-year compilation of commercials, TAC delivers a clear holiday message to the public: Drive Safely. Impaired driving costs lives and these ads demonstrate Australia's leadership in delivering safety messages related to alcohol- and drug-impaired driving to the public. Compilation Ad. All TAC Victoria Ads.


December 7, 2010 Drugged Driver Crashes Killing Seven Cyclists in Italy

Italian police have arrested a man after his car ploughed into a group of cyclists, killing seven and injuring four. The driver was driving without a license and blood tests showed he was driving under the influence of marijuana. The driver is being held under police guard in hospital on suspicion of manslaughter. Read more.


December 3, 2010 Presidential Proclamation Addresses Drugged Driving -- A National Priority

In a presidential proclamation, President Barack Obama named the month of December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. This proclamation coincides with the recent release by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) of new data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). While the number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes has declined over the past five years, the number of drivers positive for drugs has increased by 5%. Reducing drugged driving is now a national priority; this important goal and its related action steps will enhance and extend the vitally important drunk driving prevention efforts. Presidential Proclamation.


December 3, 2010 DWI Conviction for Cocaine Hangover Breaks New Ground in Prosecution of Drugged Drivers

Prosecutors in Bergen County, New Jersey recently obtained a conviction against a man who was accused of driving with a "cocaine hangover" when he caused an accident that seriously injured another person. The driver had a blood-alcohol level of zero but tested positive for cocaine. This case reinforces the per se standard for illegal use where the presence of an illegal drug in a driver's body is an offense. A forensic toxicologist notes that being drunk or high on drugs is not the only way to be intoxicated further supporting the prosecution of the driver. This case also notes the importance of drug testing all drivers suspected of impaired driving. Read more.


November 30, 2010 One Third of Fatally Injured Drivers Recently Used Drugs

A new report released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that one third of all drug tests on drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents were positive for drugs in 2009. Although drug involvement does not imply driver impairment or indicate that drug use was the cause of the crash, the large presence of drugs among drivers is of great concern. Reducing drugged driving has been named a national priority for the United States and this data reflects the immense presence of both illegal and prescription drugs which can have impairing effects. Read more. Report.


November 24, 2010 Rates of Drugged Driving Increase in Alabama with Limited Enforcement

Alabama law enforcement officials have seen an increase in driving under the influence cases involving drugs. Marijuana and prescription drugs are the top two drugs detected among drivers. Although saliva samples have been taken by drivers for testing and test results are accurate, the equipment used by enforcement is costly and state courts tend not to accept them, preferring urine and blood samples. Specially trained officers called Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) are used to detect drug impairment; however the screening process is long. Effective new testing strategies and laws must be implemented in states across the US to better detect drugged drivers to reduce drug use and keep the nation's roads safe. Read more.


October 28, 2010 BBC Features South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project

After using Xanax, a Las Vegas driver with a history of drug use passed out while driving, crashing into a bicyclist. The cyclist was dragged by the car and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The driver plead guilty in July 2010 to driving under the influence of drugs causing death and was recently sentenced to prison. Prescription drugs whether used legally or illegally can cause impairment as can illegal drugs of abuse. Drivers must be held accountable to their dangerous drugged driving behaviors. Watch video. Read more.


October 27, 2010 Number of Teen Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes Drops

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of fatal crashes involving 16- and 17-year old drivers dropped by more than a third between 2004 and 2008. However, crashes still remain the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, though most are preventable. Graduating licensing programs can be partially credited with the recent decline in fatal crashes involving these young drivers. Parental involvement is also a key factor that can protect teen drivers. Read more.


October 15, 2010 Drugged Driver Using Xanax Kills Bicyclist, Sentenced to Prison

After using Xanax, a Las Vegas driver with a history of drug use passed out while driving, crashing into a bicyclist. The cyclist was dragged by the car and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The driver plead guilty in July 2010 to driving under the influence of drugs causing death and was recently sentenced to prison. Prescription drugs whether used legally or illegally can cause impairment as can illegal drugs of abuse. Drivers must be held accountable to their dangerous drugged driving behaviors. Read more.


September 23, 2010 Tour Driver Arrested for Impaired Driving After Smoking Pot Days Before Deadly Crash

A tour bus driver smoked marijuana heavily for several days before falling asleep at the wheel and crashing in Utah, killing three Japanese tourists and injuring 11 other passengers. The 26 year-old driver was charged with 10 felony counts of negligent driving under the influence and one misdemeanor charge of having marijuana in his system. Utah has a per se drugged driving law which makes it illegal to have an illicit drug in a driver's system. Read more.


August 30, 2010 South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project Is Saving Lives

In Newsweek, Keith Humphreys, Ph.D. and Mark A.R. Kleiman, Ph.D. describe the 24/7 Sobriety Project in South Dakota, an innovative program for people convicted of repeat drunk-driving offenses. The full impact of the 4 year-old program is coming to light. While alcohol-related road deaths have held steady for a decade in other states, drunk-driving fatalities in South Dakota fell from twice the national average, 70, in 2006 to just 34 in 2008. In a follow-up article featured on The Reality-Based Community blog, Humphreys describes his 3-day trip observing the 24/7 Sobriety Project in action. The 24/7 Sobriety Project is a new paradigm for DWI offender management. Instead of trying to stop offenders from driving drunk which cannot be monitored effectively, this program sets the standard of no alcohol or drug use which can be monitored effectively using available alcohol and drug testing technology. Not only does the 24/7 Sobriety Project save lives, but it also is affordable and reduces prison costs Newsweek article. Blog article.


August 5, 2010 Drugs and Alcohol are a Deadly Mix

Calvina Fay, the Executive Director of the Drug Free America Foundation Inc., published a outstanding letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times in response to a crash causing four fatalities due to a substance-impaired driver. Fay notes that although alcohol is the leading substance of abuse found among drivers in fatal DUI crashes, marijuana is the second most commonly found substance. Drugged driving is a growing national concern that must be addressed. Read more.


July 30, 2010 Trucker in Fatal Crash Under Influence of Marijuana

Colorado police report that one of the truck drivers in a double-fatal crash in Commerce City last May was under the influence of marijuana. Due to marijuana intoxication, the driver lost his ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, resulting in the deadly crash. In a state where marijuana is legal for medical use, police are investigating whether the driver had a medical marijuana license. Medical marijuana poses an increased threat to highway safety and potential increases in rates of drugged driving. Read more.


July 15, 2010 One in 61 Drivers on Drugs in Victoria Australia

New police figures reveal that one in every 61 drivers have tested positive for illicit drugs in Victoria, Australia. Since the random drug testing program was introduced in early 2005, more than 122,000 drivers have been tested and of those 2,000 were found to have used drugs. Results showed amphetamine was the most frequently detected drug (83%), followed by cannabis (29%) and ecstasy (15%). Read more.


July 12, 2010 Professional Race Driver Sarah Fisher Joins ONDCP and NHTSA to Raise Public Awareness of Drugged Driving

Professional race driver Sarah Fisher joined Director Kerlikowske of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator David Strickland for a news conference on June 23, 2010 to raise public awareness of drugged driving on the nation's roadways. In addition to public education, ONDCP is working to increase the number of states with effective drugged driving laws. ONDCP is also working with NHTSA to increase training opportunities for law enforcement officers as well as with other Federal agencies to improve and standardize laboratory testing to detect drugged driving. Read more.


July 2, 2010 NFL Quarterback Arrested for Drugged Driving

Police report that at a downtown Manhattan police checkpoint, backup Titans NFL quarterback Chris Simms slurred his words, had bloodshot eyes and smelled of marijuana and was arrested for impaired driving. Police checkpoints are just one of the important measures police take to improve public safety and to detect drugged driving. Though Simms is charged with a misdemeanor, penalties for drugged driving should be the same as those for drunk driving. Read more.


June 7, 2010 The Involvement of Marijuana in California Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes

In a new research paper, California data on drivers involved in passenger vehicle fatal crashes using marijuana were analyzed to determine the impact on traffic safety and to provide information on the possible impact of an initiative, the Tax and Regulate Cannabis Initiative (TC2010) which is on the California ballot in November 2010 to reform and partially legalize marijuana. Researchers found that for the five years following the establishment of the Medical Marijuana Program in 2004, there were 1,240 fatalities in fatal crashes, compared to 631 fatalities for the five years prior, for an increase of almost 100%. Authors also concluded that if TC2010 passes, the estimated annual tax income on marijuana of $1.4 billion will pale in comparison to an estimated $4 billion or more in economic loss from marijuana-related fatal crashes. Read more. Read Press Release.


June 1, 2010 High School Senior Driver in Hit-and-Run Tests Positive for Marijuana

Toxicology reports show New Trier High School teen Erin Hughes had marijuana in her system, but no other illegal substances or alcohol at the time of a hit-and-run that seriously injured another student in Illinois. More drug testing has been ordered. This incident is another example of drugged driving and its serious consequences to public health and safety Read more.


May 20, 2010 National Institute on Drug Abuse Focuses on Drugged Driving

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) held a meeting entitled Drugged Driving: Future Research Directions on March 19, 2010. NIDA released the meeting summary which describes presentations made by leaders in drug policy and in drugged driving. The Institute for Behavior and Health has teamed with NIDA to write a White Paper on what is known today about the problem of drugged driving and to develop recommendations for new research to fill the most policy-relevant gaps in knowledge. Read Meeting Summary.


May 17, 2010 National Drug Control Strategy Names Reducing Drugged Driving As Key Demand Reduction Strategy

The National Drug Control Strategy released by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy identifies preventing drugged driving as a new national priority on the same scale as preventing drunk driving. Proposed actions include encouraging states to adopt per se legislation, expand drugged driving research efforts, improve drugged driving prevention and education, train law enforcement to identify drugged drivers, and develop standardized procedures for drug-testing laboratories to accurately detect the presence of drugs. Per se drugged driving laws make it a criminal offense to operate a vehicle with any detectable level of illegal drugs in a driver's body, the standard used successfully for 12 million commercial drivers in the U.S. for more than two decades. Development of data systems to assess rates of drugged driving will enhance both education and prevention and provide ways to assess the success of these new efforts over time. Read IBH Commentary. Read National Strategy.


March 29, 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Drug-Impaired Driving Report to Congress

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report to Congress entitled, Drug-Impaired Driving - Understanding the Problem and Ways to Reduce It, in accordance with the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA). The report summarizes a series of studies undertaken by NHTSA on prevention, detection, and prosecution of driving under the influence of drugs; issues associated with determining what drugs impair driving; difficulties in relating blood levels of drugs and impairment; lack of information about what drugs are frequently used by drivers and what drugs elevate crash risk; problems in obtaining representative data about current enforcement, prosecution and adjudication of drug-impaired driving; training for law enforcement officers in recognizing drug-impaired drivers; review of drug-Impaired driving laws, and what is known about the role of drugs as causal factors in traffic crashes. It highlights the need for further research and concludes with recommendations to better address the problem of drug-impaired driving. Read more.


March 12, 2010 Evidence on Cannabis Impairment and Flying

Cannabis and Flying which documents cannabis impairment in pilots. Four different studies tracked the level of impairment in pilots as they participated in flying simulations. Cannabis impairment lasted up to 24 hours after smoking. This review has serious implications for dealing with cannabis-related drugged driving and efforts to legalize the drug. It is clear that marijuana has a dangerous impairing effect on users. Read more.


March 9, 2010 Drug-Impaired Driving Due to Prescription Drug Use

Stephen K. Talpins, Chief Executive Officer of the National Partnership on Alcohol Misuse and Crime (NPAMC) and IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D., discuss the problem of drug-impaired driving due to prescription drug use in a new IBH commentary. Authors also offer suggestions for how to reduce this ongoing public health and safety problem with a combination of education and law enforcement. Read more.


February 4, 2010 New Study Shows Tough Laws and Treatment are Top Deterrents Against DUI Offenders

A University of Montana study that targeted repeat DUI offenders shows that tougher laws and chemical dependency treatment are the strongest deterrents to chronic drunken driving. In Montana where a DUI becomes a felony after the fourth offense, felony DUI offenders say that penalties for initial DUIs are not tough enough. Read more.


February 4, 2010 Europe Takes Lead in Study of Drugged Driving through the DRUID Project of the European Commission

In 2003, the European road safety program estimated that over 40,000 people were dying on Europe's roads every year. The program set the ambitious target of cutting the number of road deaths in Europe in half by the end of 2010. The European Commission's DRUID (Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines) project, which provides scientific support to this target, also comes to a close. DRUID is a 5-year study which brings together 37 institutes from 19 European countries. It aims to close the gap that exists in the knowledge about traffic safety in relation to the use of psychoactive drugs and to formulate recommendations for both official policies and practical measures. Read more.


January 20, 2010 Office of National Drug Control Policy Update Features Drugged Driving

The new ONDCP Update reports that ONDCP has made reducing drug-impaired driving a priority for 2010 and, as part of the Obama Administration's soon-to-be-released National Drug Control Strategy, is working with the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Justice, and others on new initiatives aimed at getting drug-impaired drivers off the road. Read more.


January 8, 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Releases State-by-State Analysis of Laws Dealing With Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

This study by reviewed each State statute regarding drug-impaired driving as of December 2008. There is a high degree of variability across the States in the ways they approach drug-impaired driving. Current laws in many States contain provisions making it difficult to identify, prosecute, or convict drug-impaired drivers. Read more.


December 30, 2009 BH Addresses the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2010-2015 Long Range Strategic Planning

IBH President Robert L. DuPont, M.D. along with Barry K. Logan, Ph.D., Stephen K. Talpins, J.D., and J. Michael Walsh, Ph.D. responded to NHTSA's request for comment to its long range strategic plans related to drugged driving. These experts describe their recommendations for drugged driving efforts related to public education, enforcement, drug testing, prosecution, courtroom testimony, laws, sentencing, research, and future-based technology. Read more.


December 4, 2009 Presidential Proclamation Announces December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

In a recent proclamation announcing December, 2009 as the National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, President Barack Obama recognizes the growing problem of drugged driving. Addressing impaired driving, due to drugs and/or alcohol, is a drug policy priority of the Obama Administration. Read more.


November 22, 2009 Cracking Down on Drunken Driving in New York State

New York State recently passed a new law to address drunk driving, making it a felony to drive while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle and mandating the use of ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers. IBH supports efforts to reduce drunk driving but encourages states like New York to not overlook the issue of drugged driving. Inspired by recent alcohol and drug-related fatal car crashes, new policies and laws need to include drug use in their definitions of intoxication and prosecute drugged drivers along with drunk drivers. Read more.


November 19, 2009 High Rates of Drugged Driving: Implications for Legalizing Marijuana

The California Assembly Committee on Public Safety held a meeting on October 28, 2009 which focused on public safety issues related to legalizing marijuana. A press conference was held immediately prior to this meeting, at which a press release issued by the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. was read. IBH does not support the legalization of marijuana. The high rate of drugged driving in the U.S. is just one of the many reasons why legalizing marijuana would threaten public safety.Read more.


October 9, 2009 New Police Program for Testing Drunk Driving

Officers in Texas and Idaho are undergoing a training program for a new means of testing drunken or drugged driving suspects. This program would allow officers to draw blood from drunken driving suspects. The program seeks to determine whether such practices will be effective in prosecuting drunk drivers and decreasing such occurrences.Read more.


October 6, 2009 Sedatives Included in New Zealand Drink-Driving Act

The New Zealand Land Transport Amendment Act of 2009 which passed in June created a new offense for drivers impaired by drugs and introduced compulsory testing for suspected drugged drivers and allowed blood testing for drugs. The government is now bringing forward legislation on drugged driving which will include some sedatives and anti-anxiety medications. Read more.


October 2, 2009 Drug Use Continues to be Significant Danger to Public Health; Overdose Deaths Outnumber Traffic Deaths in 16 States

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control puts the enormity of drug deaths into perspective by comparing them to the widely appreciated number of traffic deaths each year. The report shows that more people have died from drug overdoses than traffic deaths in 16 states. The national rate of traffic deaths fell 6.5% since 1999 while overdose deaths nearly doubled in that time. Prescription drugs play a critical role in the number of overdoses and IBH connects this finding to both national drug policy and the role of drugged driving in traffic deaths. Read more.


September 28, 2009 Massachusetts Senator Seeks to Close Drugged Driving Loophole

The Massachusetts law which decriminalized marijuana has left a loophole allowing drivers to possess small amounts of marijuana in their vehicles. Senator Scott Brown will bring new legislation to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to make it illegal for any driver of any age to have marijuana in a car, much like an open container of alcohol. Read more.


September 24, 2009 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction's New Website Focuses on Drugged Driving

EMCDDA launched a newly updated website highlighting drugged driving. The site tracks related projects in the European Union (EU), publications, news and other online resources dealing with drugged driving. Among the website's additions is the latest issue of the Drugs in focus entitled, "Responding to drug driving in Europe." In it, EMCDDA calls for evidence-based and enforceable drugged driving laws and outlines key issues for policymakers and researchers. Read more.


September 23, 2009 Mandatory Alcohol Testing Associated with Reduction in Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes Among Commercial Drivers

Researchers determined the risk of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes among commercial drivers from 1982 through 2006 by comparing the rates of fatal crashes before and after the mandatory alcohol testing program. There was a 23% reduction in fatal crashes that involved alcohol among commercial drivers during the period of testing. Surprisingly this study does not contain data on the relationship of the use of other drugs in fatal crashes even though drug tests are included for a very good reason: drugged driving is a major problem for commercial drivers, as it is for all drivers. Read more.


August 28, 2009 New Study Shows Heavy Use of Marijuana Negatively Impacts Neurocognitive Performance After 28 Day Abstinence: Implications for Drugged Driving Enforcement and Policy

How long does marijuana-induced impairment last after marijuana use stops for heavy users? A new study in the journal, Neurology, shows that for a group of heavy marijuana users, cognitive impairment persisted for at least 28 days after use stopped. This study lays a solid foundation for drug-related public safety policies, including drugged driving policies, because it shows the long-lasting negative effects of heavy marijuana use on brain function. Read more.


August 27, 2009 Drugged driving becomes a national priority in the United Kingdom: New education campaign sets precedent for United States

The United Kingdom's Department for Transport (DfT) recently launched a 2.3 million campaign to address drugged driving. Entitled THINK! Drug Drive, this campaign reinforces key educational, legal, and policy messages to the public. Read more.


June 23, 2009 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act Up For Reauthorization

One of the provisions of this 2005 legislation called for the development of a national drugged driving policy, increased funds for drugged driving research, and authorization for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a model state statute on drugged driving to encourage states to adopt per se laws. Unfortunately DOT requested a continuation by Congress each ensuing year and nothing resulted. Now SAFE-TEA is up for re-authorization in 2009. This language must be preserved in the 2009 legislation, and preferably, modified. IBH has suggested language for the reauthorization.

Comprehensive information on SAFE-TEA can be found at the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration: Read more.


May 15, 2009 NASCAR Implements Random Drug Testing Policy for All Drivers

In 2009, NASCAR began implementing its first mandatory drug testing policy. However, NASCAR has not released a list of banned substances to drivers claiming it would provide more leeway. With safety at the root of the issue, National Public Radio's All Things Considered consults sportswriter Stefan Fatsis to examine this issue. Read more.


October 9, 2008 South Africa Drivers Face Saliva Tests

Drinking and driving has always been a no-no, but soon motorists stopped at roadblocks around Cape Town will be saliva-tested on top of standard breathalyzer tests, to detect instantly the presence of illegal narcotics. Read more.


October 3, 2008 Drug Driver Deaths in New Zealand Up 50% in the Last Decade

Police statistics released to Candor Trust under the Official Information Act show that in the June 2006 - July 2007 year, 59 pot drivers died in (27% of 219 dead drivers tested). Constituting a 50% rise in numbers dying on roads under the influence of cannabis, on a decade ago. In 1998 only 40 drivers were typically killed after cannabis use. Read more.


August 29, 2008 Congress Passes Strict Drugged Driving Law in Peru

Congressional representatives in Peru unanimously approved laws to change the punishment for motorists in Peru who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, establishing that anyone caught driving under the influence of these substances would receive between 2 and 4 years in prison. Modifications to laws also establish that if a drugged driver is providing transportation for one or more passengers, jail time may increase to 4 to 6 years. Read more.


May 18, 2008 A Third of Young Motorists Have Driven While on Drugs

Ireland's Independent reveals that almost one in three young drivers drove under the influence of drugs and many drivers blatantly ignore speed limits. About 30% of those under the age of 24 drove under the influence of recreational drugs in their lifetime and almost one in five of drivers under 35 reported driving while stoned. Read more.


March 5, 2008 Crashes vs. Congestion - What's the Cost to Society?

The societal cost of crashes is a staggering $164.2 billion annually, nearly two and a half times greater than the $67.6 billion price tag for congestion, according to a new report released today by AAA. Read more.


February 29, 2008 New Booze Buses to Test Drugged Drivers

For the first time in New Zealand, police are able to use a booze bus to test and process drugged drivers. Read more.


June 16, 2007 The Drugged Driving Epidemic

More than three dozen men, women and children were hurt at a Southeast Washington DC festival in June 2007 by a driver high on crack cocaine. Two days later, another allegedly drug-addicted driver crashed into a crowd of students at a bus stop in La Plata, Maryland, injuring four individuals. Authored by Robert L. DuPont, M.D. and Michael Walsh, Ph.D., this Washington Post article evaluates the status of the drugged driving epidemic. Read more.

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