DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING RESEARCH
The stats on this page are taken primarily from the report Drug-Impaired Driving, A Guide for States, 2017 by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). This report summarizes the current state of knowledge on drug-impaired driving, including what little is known about the costs and effectiveness of these actions, and identifies actions states can take to reduce drug-impaired driving.
Drug-impaired driving is more complex than alcohol-impaired driving for many reasons.
- Hundreds of different drugs can impair drivers.
- Some drugs that can impair driving are illegal to use, some are legal to use under certain conditions, and some are freely available over-the-counter.
- For many drugs the relations between a drug’s presence in the body, its effect on driving, and its effects on crash risk are complex, not understood well, and vary from driver to driver.
- Data on drug presence in crash-involved drivers are incomplete in most jurisdictions, inconsistent from state to state, and sometimes inconsistent across jurisdictions within states.
- It’s more difficult for law enforcement to detect drug impairment at the roadside than alcohol impairment.
- Laws regarding driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) vary across the states.
- It’s more difficult to prosecute and convict a driver for DUID than for alcohol-impaired driving (DUI).
In 2015, nationwide, 57.0% of fatally-injured drivers were tested for drugs.
- 35.6% Marijuana
- 9.3% Amphetamine
- 55.1% Other
- 37.3 % Alcohol
- 20% of young adults aged 18-25 and 6% of adults aged 26 and above use illegal drugs or marijuana at least monthly. In comparison, over 50% of each age group drink alcohol at least monthly.
- 12-15% of drivers in NHTSA's 2013-14 roadside survey tested positive for some illegal drug or marijuana
- Marijuana is by far the most common drug that is used.
- 43% of fatally-injured drivers with know test results tested positive for drugs or marijuana in 2015, more than tested positive for alcohol.
THE LOCAL STORYAmong the 2,035 Ventura County Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Program participants who completed the Place of Last Drink (POLD) Survey during calendar year 2016, 1,718 (84%) reported being stopped for their DUI in Ventura County. Here are a few findings related to drug-impaired driving.
- The percentage of respondents who reported using drugs, besides alcohol, on the day of their DUI arrest. Across all respondents, 11% reported using another drug. The most frequently reported “other” drugs used across all respondents included marijuana (44%) and prescription drugs (43%).
- Among the 1,304 males respondents who reported being stopped in Ventura County, 122 (9%) reported using other drugs, besides alcohol, on the day of their DUI arrest. Of the 122 males who reported using other drugs on the day of their DUI arrest, 49% reported using marijuana, followed by prescription drugs (38%), cocaine (16%), methamphetamine (12% ) heroin (7%) and “other” drugs (3%).
- Among the 414 females respondents who reported being stopped in Ventura County, 58 (14%) reported using other drugs, besides alcohol, on the day of their DUI arrest. Of the 58 females who reported using other drugs on the day of their DUI arrest, 53% reported using prescription drugs on the day of their DUI arrest, followed by marijuana (33%), methamphetamine (14%), cocaine (7%), “other” drugs (5%), and heroin (3%).