Public Health and Safety

Drugged Driving: A New Report

In America, every 52 minutes a person dies in an alcohol-related collision. When a driver has a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08, they have a nearly 4 times greater crash risk. Many people falsely believe that driving after using marijuana is less impairing than after drinking alcohol. In Colorado, in the years following legalization for adult use, the rate of fatal marijuana-related collisions increased by nearly 50 percent and remains elevated. Washington state also experienced increases in their rates of fatal marijuana-related collisions.

The Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) just released their fact sheet on “Drugged Driving” (August 2021). The publication looks at findings from recent research into the issues associated to impaired driving from substances other than just alcohol. Given the current interest into the legalization of other drugs, beyond marijuana, the ramifications to highway / public safety have to be addressed and understood. Regardless of any personal position on legalization, we have to acknowledge that these choices have a broader potential impact to Americans as a whole. Following science and supporting research will help bridge those information gaps.

Also available from LAPPA is their 2021 summary of the laws, by individual states, in America. Included with this summary is a list of resources to obtain additional information on “drugged driving”.

Read Time: 5 – 10 minutes

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