Drugged Driving Becoming More Popular Than Drunk Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released the results of the 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers. These results come from a random sample of nighttime drivers in 48 states. All drivers voluntarily completed drug and alcohol testing.
The results showed that there has been a major decrease in alcohol-impaired driving over the years. In 1973, this study showed that 35.9 percent of drivers had alcohol in their systems. But in 2014, that number decreased to 8.3 percent. Furthermore, drivers who had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher decreased from 7.5 percent in 1973 to 1.5 percent in 2014. Overall, this means there has been an 80 percent reduction in drunk drivers on weekend nights.
On the other hand, drugged driving has increased. In 2007, 16.3 percent of drivers had drugs in their systems. These drugs included cannabis, opioids, etc. But in 2014, that number increased to 20 percent of drivers having drugs in their system. Some are blaming this on the legalization and growing popularity of marijuana. This may be true because the number of drivers with marijuana in their system increased to 50 percent in 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will continue to study drunk and drugged driving.