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Stop Drugged Driving: Facing the Facts

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... Drugged Driving Problem ... Compared to 16% driving or riding with someone ... crashes are estimated to be the result of drugged driving, resulting in: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stop Drugged Driving: Facing the Facts


1
Stop Drugged Driving Facing the Facts
  • Robert L. DuPont, M.D.
  • President
  • Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.

2
Extent of the Drugged Driving Problem Nationally
  • 10.6 Million people drove under the influence of
    drugs in 2006, many of them repeatedly
  • In the past two weeks 24 of high school seniors
    drove after using drugs or rode with a driver
    after he used drugs
  • Compared to 16 driving or riding with someone
    after heavy drinking

3
The Costs of Drugged Driving Each Year
  • 20 of automobile crashes are estimated to be the
    result of drugged driving, resulting in
  • 8,600 highway deaths
  • 580,000 injuries from car crashes
  • 33,000,000,000 in costs

4
20 of Automobile Accidents are Drug-Related
  • 20 is a conservative estimate based on
  • J.M. Walshs finding that 50 of seriously
    injured drivers tested positive for drugs OTA
    (Walsh JM, Flegel R, et al Acc Anal Prev 37
    (2005) 894901)
  • Barry Logans study showing 35 of
    fatally-injured drivers test positive for drugs
    (Schwilke, dos Santos, Logan, J For Sci, 2006)
  • Barry Logans trucker drug-testing study which
    found 21 of truckers test positive for drugs
    (Couper, Logan. J For Sci, 2001)

5
20 of Automobile Accidents are Drug-Related
  • The CDC estimates 18 of traffic accidents are
    drug related (http//www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/
    drving.htm)
  • NIDA estimates that drugs are used by 10 to 22
    of drivers in collisions (http//www.nida.nih.gov/
    infofacts/driving.html)
  • NHTSA notes that, for fatally injured drivers,
    cannabis is detected in 7 to 37 with a mean of
    14. Each of five other drugs can be found in
    about 5 or less (http//www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/
    injury/research/StateofKnwlegeDrugs/StateofKnwlege
    Drugs/pages/7Conclusions.html)

6
Fatally Injured Drivers in Washington State -
2002Schwilke, dos Santos, Logan, J For Sci, 2006
7
Extent of the Drugged Driving Problem In Maryland
  • At a Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore
  • 51 of drivers tested positive for drugs other
    than alcohol
  • Of these, 31 were also positive for alcohol
  • Alcohol was detected in 31 of sample
  • Of these, 52 were also positive for drugs
  • Among 16-20 year-olds
  • 50 positive for marijuana
  • 33 positive for alcohol
  • All of these were also positive for marijuana

Walsh et al. 2005
8
Among Drivers admitted to a Level-1 Trauma Center
in Baltimore
  • 51 of drivers tested positive for drugs other
    than alcohol
  • Alcohol was detected in 31 of sample
  • Of these, 52 were also positive for drugs

9
Extent of the Drugged Driving Problem In Maryland
  • According to the 2004 Maryland Adolescent Survey
  • Over 11 of licensed 12th graders drove under the
    influence of marijuana 1 or 2 times
  • 14 of licensed 12th graders drove under the
    influence of marijuana 3 times or more
  • Only 50 of 12th graders view driving after using
    marijuana as very dangerous
  • 79 view driving after 5 drinks as very
    dangerous

10
Consequences of Drugged Driving in Maryland
  • 119 deaths
  • 7,700 injuries
  • Cost of drugged driving in Maryland
  • 1,086,000,000
  • Cost of drugged driving in Baltimore
  • 511,000,000

AAA estimates automobile crashes cost each
person in Maryland 970 per year, 20 of which
are estimated to be the result of drugged driving
11
Recommendations
  • Maryland must have an enforceable per se standard
    for illegal drugs
  • This standard has worked with little controversy
    for the U.S. Department of Transportation for 20
    years
  • All drivers know the law and the consequences
  • Police have incentive to test for illegal drugs
    in addition to alcohol

12
Recommendations
  • Penalties for drugged driving should be equal to
    those for drunk driving, including for repeat
    offenses
  • Additional penalties should apply to those who
    test positive for BOTH drugs and alcohol making
    this an aggravated offense
  • All student-drivers must learn of the impairing
    effects of drugs on driving and the consequences
    for driving drugged

13
Recommendations
  • Drug Testing should be done at all of the
    following opportunities
  • At all sobriety checkpoints
  • On drivers in accidents causing serious injuries,
    either at the scene of the crash or at the
    hospital/trauma center
  • When drugs have been found in vehicles or on
    drivers
  • When drivers admit to recent drug use
  • When impaired drivers have BACs less than 0.08

14
Recommendations
  • Use urine, oral fluids, sweat and hair for drug
    testing in addition to blood
  • Reduce barriers to successful prosecution by
    adopting the chain of custody procedures used by
    the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Test samples at approved commercial laboratories,
    not only at state laboratories

15
Recommendations for the Convicted Drugged Driver
  • All convicted drugged drivers must submit to
    repeated random drug testing for a year or longer
    as a condition of regaining and then maintaining
    their licenses
  • Positive tests during monitoring should lead to
    additional penalties
  • All convicted drugged drivers must undergo
    assessment for drug dependence with those in need
    of treatment required to get help

16
The Per Se Necessity
  • The per se standard makes any detectable
  • level of illegal drugs a violation of the law

17
Reasons for the Per Se Standard
  • The per se standard for drug use has been the
    standard in the Federal workplace since 1986 and
    in safety-sensitive jobs since 1987
  • Safety-sensitive jobs include commercial airline
    pilots, and drivers of all commercial vehicles
    including tractor-trailers, buses, and trains
  • The per se standard has been adopted by 15 states
    and numerous countries including many in Western
    Europe plus Australia and New Zealand

18
  • If safety-sensitive jobs use the per se
  • standard for drugs of abuse, WHY shouldnt
  • all drivers be subject to this standard?

19
Reasons for the Per Se Standard
  • The per se standard eliminates the ambiguities of
    proving in each case the nexus between impairment
    and illegal drug use
  • Since the combination of drugs and alcohol is
    especially impairing, there are no scientifically
    valid or enforceable cut-off levels other than
    zero for either drugs or alcohol when both are
    present

20
The Task Forces Responsibilities
  • The Task Force should not trim conclusions and
    recommendations to fit what is thought to be
    currently politically achievable or
    bureaucratically or budgetarily practical
  • The Task Force, instead, should define the
    optimal responses to drugged (and drunk) driving
    that are in the best interests of the citizens of
    Maryland

21
The Task Forces Responsibilities
  • The Task Forces primary duty is to identify the
    full range of recommendations that will reduce
    the tragic toll of deaths, injuries and costs now
    exacted by drivers impaired by illegal drugs (as
    well as by alcohol)
  • The Task Force must highlight the fact that
    drugged driving is now on a par with drunk
    driving and warrants responses on the same level

22
Thank You!
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