People are Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs More Than Alcohol

Driving under the influence doesn’t mean just alcohol.  The looming reality of legalized marijuana across the nation has caused an increase in conversation about driving under the influence (DUI).  People are worried that driving under the influence of drugs, like marijuana, will become just as problematic as driving under the influence of alcohol. Tests for drug intoxication have been developed.  Designed to tell if someone has been using marijuana for a recent amount of time to being pulled over.  However, driving under the influence of drugs is not a federal law because officers are not equipped to test for it on the road.

US News writes that a new report from The Governors Highway Safety Association and Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility revealed some startling information. Driving under the influence of drugs is not going to be a problem, the report findings assert. It is already a problem.

Driving Under the Influence of Opioids

43% of deadly car crashes in 2015 involved the use of drugs. Both prescription drugs and illegal drugs were cited. This statistic compares to other data released from 2015 which shockingly exposed the gravity of the opioid epidemic. More people died of drug overdose in 2015 than in fatal car crashes. An interesting note on the concern over marijuana, the article cites that more than one-third of those who were using drugs when involved in a deadly accident also used marijuana. In contrast, deadly car accidents involving alcohol only accounted for 37%.

“Testing for a majority of drugs is tricky,” the article explains, “as there isn’t something akin to a Breathalyzer test for them.” However, states are beginning to train their law enforcement officials and highway patrol to recognize signs of drug intoxication.

The Future Of Drug-Driving In America

Drug impairment can cause a severe disruption in judgment, perception, and decision making. Anyone under the influence of drugs shouldn’t be driving. Most often, drug use is combined with alcohol use. Considering the prevalence of driving under the influence of alcohol, the combination is of concern. To move forward, lawmakers need to work with researchers to create the best way to detect drug use and create a system for testing.

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