Drug Impaired Driving

Every state has laws dealing with alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. But unlike the laws for drunk driving, those that address drugged 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

A PDF list of state marijuana-related laws is also available here.

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.

Short Term Description
Every state has laws dealing with alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving. But unlike the laws for drunk driving, those that address drugged driving are nuanced, difficult to enforce and prosecute and vary substantially by state.

Director of Highway Safety in WV Division of Motor Vehicles says drunk driving arrests are down

While alcohol-related traffic fatalities have decreased in West Virginia, drug-impaired driving fatalities are on the rise. West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Bob Tipton explains the challenges to curbing drugged driving.

Director of Highway Safety in WV Division of Motor Vehicles says drunk driving arrests are down

May 20, 2018

Drugged Driving Summit Raises Profile of Critical Issue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2018

Contact: Madison Forker, mforker@ghsa.org
202-789-0942 x120

Statement for attribution to Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director Jonathan Adkins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow, March 15, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) will join national stakeholders for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Drugged Driving Summit.

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