Drug-impaired driving is one of the toughest safety challenges we face on roadways. The number of drivers under the influence of drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol, is rising. Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, marijuana, and illegal drugs may affect one’s driving ability, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs. In 2021 California reported 751 fatalities related to drug-involved driving. Of the fatally injured drivers with known drug tests in California for 2021, 52.9% were positive for drugs – legal and illegal. Measures to address the issue include increased officer training in identifying and detecting drug impairment in drivers through the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) programs. The OTS grant programs also include dedicated prosecution teams for drug-impaired driving cases, as well as prosecutor training on handling driving under the influence of drug cases through every step of the criminal process. Education campaigns inform the public about the dangers of driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol, helping shift social norms around drug-impaired driving.
DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING PROGRAM AREA GOALS
- Provide increased training to law enforcement to identify drug-impaired drivers.
- Reduce the number of persons injured in drug-involved crashes.
- Reduce the number of persons killed in drug-involved crashes.