To confront the complex and evolving issue of drugged driving, GHSA and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) have produced a comprehensive update of their 2015 report about drug use on our nation’s roadways.
Drug Impaired Driving
Every state has laws dealing with alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. But unlike the laws for alcohol-impaired driving, those that address drug-impaired driving are nuanced, difficult to enforce and prosecute and vary substantially by state.
In addition to general impairment laws, there are two basic laws that states tend to use when addressing drug-impaired driving:
- Zero Tolerance laws make it illegal to drive with any measurable amount of specified drugs in the body. These laws are best suited for illegal drugs: if it is illegal to possess or use a drug, then it is reasonable to prohibit driving after the drug has been possessed and used.
- 16 states have zero tolerance laws in effect for one or more drugs.
- Per Se laws make it illegal to drive with amounts of specified drugs in the body that exceed set limits.
- 6 states have per se laws in effect for one or more drugs.
Marijuana Drug-Impaired Driving Laws
18 states have zero tolerance or non-zero per se laws for marijuana.
- 9 states have zero tolerance for THC or a metabolite.
- 3 states have zero tolerance for THC but no restriction on metabolites.
- 5 states have specific per se limits for THC
- 1 state (Colorado) has a reasonable inference law for THC
NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on drug impaired driving laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.
Sources: State Highway Safety Offices.
GHSA's latest report on drug-impaired driving calls for action by states on this issue. Report author Dr. Jim Hedlund and Responsibility.org's Brandy Nannini discuss the key findings.
April 26, 2017
Article by Ed Blazina
Though fewer fatally injured drivers are testing positive for alcohol, more are being found with drugs in their system. Dr. Jim Hedlund, author of GHSA's latest report on drug-impaired driving, speaks with Forbes on the report's findings.
April 26, 2017
Article by Cheryl and Christopher Jensen
GHSA's latest report finds that 43% of fatally-injured drivers with known results tested positive for drugs. Report author Dr. Jim Hedlund discusses the findings with the TODAY Show.
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Story by Miguel Almaguer
When the Illinois Department of Transportation's Bureau of Safety Programs and Engineering received GHSA and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility's 2016 drugged driving grant, they planned to use the money to conduct 10 ARIDE classes in the state.
The Florida Department of Transportation State Safety Office was a recipient of GHSA and Responsibility.org’s 2016 grant program aimed at training law enforcement in drug recognition. Prior to receiving this grant, the Florida Highway Patrol had 11 certified Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), out of 1,869 total troopers. Faced with a high likelihood of marijuana legalization in the state and the subsequent potential for an increase in drug-impaired driving, FHP was able to train 27 additional DREs in 2016.
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In 2014 Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. That same year Colorado launched its Drive High, Get a DUI campaign to inform the public that the state’s DUI law includes impairment by marijuana.