Los Angeles, California, July 4, 2017 (Newswire.com) - Narconon urges Americans to make it safely through this holiday weekend by encouraging everyone to enforce this simple rule: Don't drive while drugged or drunk.
According to Esurance and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Fourth of July is the worst day of the year for fatal car crashes." It also reports that "40 percent of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk driving over the Fourth of July weekend."
And it is not only alcohol that is responsible for these fatalities. A May 2017 report from the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that for the first time, more drivers who recently died in car crashes were drugged than drunk.
The DRUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol or Medicines) Project found "all drugs increase crash risk to some extent and amphetamines, multiple drugs, and drugs together with alcohol increase crash risk substantially."
It is much harder to determine impairment of a drugged driver than a drunk one. Nationally, the limit for blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent except in Utah which has just lowered their limit to .05 percent. For THC, the primary intoxicant in marijuana, some states have adopted the limit of 5 nanograms per microliter (a millionth of a liter) of blood as a standard for the time being, but this standard is controversial. Impairment due to marijuana use is a complex issue that goes far beyond a single measurement of how much THC is in the blood at a given moment.
As for other drugs, every state has laws that allow law enforcement personnel to charge a driver with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, but the laws vary widely.
Marijuana has been broadly legalized for medical or recreational use without a standard of impairment being developed.
At the same time, there's an increasing number of news reports on individuals overdosing on opioids in their vehicles, sometimes while they are driving or with children in the car. There are no shortage of laws that would allow law enforcement to charge these drivers with failing to properly control their vehicles. Child endangerment laws also come into play when kids are present.
A 2010 study, The Effect of Cannabis Compared with Alcohol on Driving, found, "Marijuana and alcohol, when used together, have additive or even multiplicative effects on impairment."
In brief, ensure you and your friends live through this weekend safely. Don't allow your friends to drive while drunk or drugged.