According to a recent study released in Public Health Reports, the profile of a drugged driver has changed since 1993. The study shows that more drivers are now testing positive for prescription drugs, marijuana, and multiple drugs.
Although we have seen a decrease in the amount of motor vehicle fatalities involving people under the influence, the nature of these crashes is in fact changing.
The study examined trends in the characteristics of U.S. drivers who have been involved in fatal crashes between 1993 and 2010 and test positive for drugs. The study found that the percentage of drugged drivers with three or more drugs in their system doubled from 1993 to 2010, increased from 11.5% to 21.5%. Back in 1993, about 1 in 8 drivers were using multiple drugs while driving. By 2010, that number as closer to 1 in 5.
The study also found an increase in the number of people using drugs an alcohol altogether. Approximately 70% of drivers who tested positive for cocaine had also been consuming alcohol, and almost 55% of drivers who tested positive for marijuana also had alcohol in their systems.
It is expected that these trends are likely to continue increasing into the future because 90% of people ages 65 and older have prescription expenses and there is a reliance on prescription drugs by medical providers as well as increasing initiatives to legalize marijuana.
Eighteen states currently have zero tolerance laws for drugged drivers.
We remind you to never operate a motor vehicle under the influence or drugs or alcohol.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash, contact us today.
Source: Public Health Law Research