According to the a new survey from the California Office of Traffic Safety we are seeing a tilt in the balance of DUI cases showing that drugged driving may be more prevalent than drunk driving.

The studied showed that more drivers tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

I am not sure how these samples were analyzed, but at a recent prescription drug abuse conference in Fountain Valley, California, a member of the Orange County Crime Lab spoke about the testing of drunk vs. drugged drivers.

She indicated that drugged driving will always be underrepresented because if a driver is both using alcohol and drugs prior to arrest, the test will only screen for drugs when the driver is under .08. If a driver has an alcohol level of .08 or above, they are considered legally under the influence, and no drug information is sought.

If that level is less, then run a drug screen to see if there are additional factors that may be causing problems for drivers to put them under the influence.

As with medicinal marijuana, more people may be driving under the influence now.

Some people in Colorado and Washington, where the voters just legalized marijuana, have raised concerns of the potential increase in drugged driving.

Those laws will not take effect for a while, and the federal government has not indicated whether it will step in and overrule on those voter approved measures.

 

Advertisements