Driving drunk, driving drugged and driving distracted are all on the hit list of the White House’s most-wanted these days, and for good reason:
Driving while impaired is a public threat.
That 93 million Americans? This is the number of US drivers (age 16 and over) who reported driving while “under the influence of illicit drugs in the last year.”
By 2015 the national goal is to decrease drugged driving by 10 percent. Should we applaud or cry at that goal? Well, for starters that means there will “only” 9.3 million impaired drivers on the road.
That puts it a little more in perspective, but does this reduced number make you feel any safer, driving or walking around out there with “just” 9.3 million folks who DUI (driving under the influence)?
Since alcohol isn’t an illegal drug, this 93 million doesn’t even take drinking while driving into consideration. These statistical numbers looked at two items:
- Illegal drugs
- Prescription drugs
Many experts take note that driving under the influence of alcohol is on the decline, giving kudos to DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) media campaigns and increasingly stiff legal penalties and punishment.
How to get to 10 percent reduction in drugged driving
Strategy to meet this national goal covers four areas:
- Encouraging all states to have per se laws, which means that any level of drug or alcohol in the system while driving is considered a legal offense
- Helping law enforcement find specific ways and technology to identify drugged drivers
- Enforce a standard way that blood or urine is tested in the lab to detect for drugs
- Continue collecting data on drugged driving
Partnerships with other organizations have been set up to help educate the public about drugged driving.
A big question comes to mind: of those 93 million drugged drivers, just how many were worried about the legalities of driving while drugged? And how many need some solid help for an addiction?