Drugged Driving Rivals Drunken Driving on U.S. Roadways


Authorities are finding about the same number of drivers impaired by drugs as by alcohol in recent years. Here, a policeman checks out a car after stopping a driver for DUI. (Wikimedia photo by Joseph P. Cirone)

Drugged driving rivals drunken driving on U.S. roadways lately because so many more prescriptions are being issued and because of the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana in many states.

Almost 40 percent of drivers in fatal accidents had drugs in their system in 2013, about the same percentage as those with alcohol impairment, according to a federal analysis. In addition, roadside surveys have found 22 percent of drivers on weekend nights and days tested positive for drugs.

Driving can be dangerous under any conditions, but with all these impaired drivers it is especially perilous. If you see someone driving erratically, steer clear.

And if an impaired driver crashes into your vehicles and injures you or your children, be sure to contact an attorney who can win you the utmost in compensation. The legal experts of Krasney Law firm in Los Angeles have years of experience at winning compensation for our accident-victim clients.

A Guilty Verdict

When a driver is found guilty of a criminal or traffic violation such as driving under the influence, that verdict can be used against him in a civil matter. He is likely to be ruled negligent and liable to pay damages in an auto accident civil case if he had been found in guilty previously.

An injured person, especially one with catastrophic injuries, can get monetary compensation from the person responsible for an accident to pay for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering and sometimes punitive damages.

The Governors Highway Safety Association issued a report (PDF here) on how drug-impaired driving is a rampant problem on American roadways and why it is different than alcohol-impaired driving. Some of the reasons for the differences are:

  • Drivers can be impaired by hundreds of different drugs.
  • Some of these drugs are legal to use under certain conditions, while others are illegal. Some are even available over the counter (they don’t require a prescription and are not controlled substances).
  • It is harder for police officers to detect drug impairment on the scene than it is to detect alcohol impairment.
  • Getting a conviction for driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) is harder than for alcohol-impaired driving.
  • Laws vary from state to state regarding DUID, though California has an anti-DUID law passed in 2014 (more on that below).

The Governors Highway Safety Association adds: “For many drugs the relation between a drug’s presence in the body, its effect on driving, and its effects on crash risk is complex, not understood well, and varies from driver to driver.”

Drunken Driving on U.S. Roadways

California Outlaws DUID

In legal terms in California, that last point is almost moot. From the California Vehicle Code section 23152:

“(c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

“(e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.

“(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.”

When it comes to a lawsuit, this means the presumption of guilt is on the driver impaired by drugs.

In addition, if a person’s blood-alcohol content is at or above 0.08 percent or 0.04 percent for commercial vehicles, he is not allowed to drive in California.

Many Fatalities Test Positive for Drugs

The governors’ report states:

“In 2013 nationwide, 62.6% of the fatally-injured drivers were tested for drugs. Of those tested, no drugs were detected in 57.3%, a drug in the FARS list was found in 30.3%, some other drug in 7.7%, and test results were unknown for 4.6%. Over one-third – 34.7% – of the identified drugs were marijuana in some form, followed by amphetamine at 9.7%.

“Alcohol was present at similar levels. In 2013, 74.3% of the fatally-injured drivers were tested for alcohol. No alcohol was detected in 57.6% of those tested, alcohol at a positive BAC in 38.4%, and test results were unknown for 3.9%.”

Prescriptions have Quadrupled

The report states that prescriptions of drugs have quadrupled since 1999, and several states have legalized marijuana possession or decriminalized marijuana possession of small amounts of marijuana, both of which factors contribute to higher numbers of drugged drivers.

Marijuana legalization activists like to claim that there is little evidence that ingesting or smoking marijuana impairs driving—but that does not matter under California law and the laws of every other state in the union. It is illegal to smoke and drive.

Marijuana Impairment

Plus, studies say pot does impair driving ability. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports: “Marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, and studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.”

Given that more than one-third of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were taking marijuana, this is a major problem for states, and state governments and legislatures are being asked to address it.

The problem of driving while impaired on drugs has been growing at a steady rate for years. The GHSA reports: “Measured in national data, drug use has increased in recent years. … Drugs were detected in 27.8% of fatally-injured drivers with known test results in 2005, 32.8% in 2009, and 39.9% in 2013.”

If you Get in an Accident

If you do get in an accident, talk only to your lawyer, the police and your own insurance company about it. If another driver’s insurance company calls you, refer them to your lawyer or your own insurance company. (See this blog posting for what steps to take if you get in an accident.)

The San Bernardino auto-accident attorneys at Krasney Law can help you maneuver through the complicated world of auto insurance, legal ramifications and settlements.

If you or anyone else in the accident is injured, the best course is to contact your Inland Empire auto-accident attorneys at Krasney Law, (909) 380-7200. We will charge you nothing for an initial consultation, and we may arrange payment on a contingency basis. That is, we don’t get paid unless you accept a settlement or we go to trial.


  1. // Reply

    I’ve been surfing online more than three hours as of late, yet I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the web might be much more helpful than ever before.

  2. // Reply

    I very glad to find this website on bing, just what I was looking for : D also saved to my bookmarks.

    1. // Reply

      I recently got a blogspot for my mixtapes that I uploaded but when I search my DJ name (even full url), it dos&ne#8217;t appear in the google search. Does it take about a week for it to appear or do I have to pay to get it to come up?.

  3. // Reply

    Heya great website! Does running a blog similar to this take a great deal
    of work? I have virtually no knowledge of programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog
    soon. Anyhow, if you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.

    I know this is off topic however I just had to ask.

  4. // Reply

    Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity on your put up is simply great and i could suppose you’re knowledgeable on this subject.

    Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with impending post.
    Thanks 1,000,000 and please continue the rewarding

  5. // Reply

    I visited various sites however the audio quality for audio songs present at the website is actually excellent.

    1. // Reply

      Hi Luhaa,Tcsnks for the good post, it is very helpful for me.I am trying to do the similar thing: interact with File Adapter from EJB, so I wonder if you have finally make it work? I wish I am running on the right direction, thanks in advanced.The user guide of the Oracle JCE adapter only introduces the adapter usage in SOA composite application. Do you know any document that introduces the adapter usage in EJB? I have searched but with no luck. Thanks for your help.

  6. // Reply

    Thank you for the good writeup. It actually was a amusement account it.
    Look complicated to far brought agreeable from you! However,
    how could we be in contact?

    1. // Reply

      obrigado, estava com problemas com meu passenger, nginx, rails 3.2.3 e meu macosx mountain lion e sua solução de desinstalar o gem json foi matador. Ao iniciar o WEBSERVER nginx com passenger, ocorria o erro “[BUG] cross-thread violation on rb&);(g(null)_#8221c, mas após desinstalar o gem json, tudo voltou como deveria ser.Muito obrigado!!! abraços!!!

  7. // Reply

    Undeniably assume that that you stated. Your best reason appeared
    to be on the net the simplest thing to understand. I say to you personally, I definitely
    get annoyed while people think about worries which they plainly usually do not learn about.
    You were able to hit the nail upon the most notable in addition to defined out the whole thing
    without needing unwanted effect , people can take a signal.
    Will likely return to obtain additional. Thanks

  8. // Reply

    Hurrah, that’s a few things i was looking for, exactly what a material!
    present here at this blog, thanks admin with this website.

  9. // Reply

    Excellent blog! Do you possess any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to get started on my very own website soon but I’m just a little lost on everything.

    Would you propose starting with a free of charge
    platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
    are numerous choices around that I’m totally confused ..
    Any tips? Kudos!

    1. // Reply

      today. I was inspired to make that plate you see here by Micheal Rum;#an&h8217ls post today, America: Too Stupid to Cook, Part II. I really agree with his position that corporations are always selling us on our own fictional

  10. // Reply

    This is my first time go to see at here and i am actually pleassant
    to read everthing at alone place.

  11. // Reply

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book
    in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive
    the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog.
    An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

  12. // Reply

    I had been recommended this blog by my cousin. I
    am just not sure whether this post is written by him
    as no-one else know such detailed about my problem. You might be wonderful!

    1. // Reply

      I like the section where the Trust describes "teething prmoelos&qubt;. These devices have fangs, actually, that grip and kill patients, whimsically from time to time. And the FDA has done NOTHING in the USA.

  13. // Reply

    I can’t see how she made it through to the poll Everytime I go vote it’s worse than getting though the DMV, with all the hoops I have to jump

  14. // Reply

    Hi to every , for the reason that I am actually eager of reading
    this blog’s post to be updated regularly. It carries fastidious information.

  15. // Reply

    I always accustomed to study part of writing in news papers however while i am a person of web
    therefore from now I am just using net for articles or reviews,
    thanks to web.

  16. // Reply

    Hi mates, how is the whole thing, and what you would like to say on the
    topic of this post, in my view its truly awesome in support of me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *