Research has repeatedly reported that drugged driving is grossly under-reported and is much more serious than generally realized.
A major reason is that law enforcement lacks tests to identify drugging. Another is that if a driver is drugging and drinking, police officers easily detect the alcohol and rarely look for evidence of drug impairment.
In reality marijuana can affect concentration, perception and reaction time up to 24 hours after it's smoked. That's much, much longer than alcohol can affect behavior.
But while marijuana might affect behavior much longer than alcohol and be much more dangerous for driving, it is much safer in that people are very rarely arrested for driving while drugged.
A drug counselor and recovering addict, Allison Whitney, says that she got into several crashes as a teenager because of smoking pot while driving. Although she would get pulled over for erratic driving, police would always let her go because she passed breathalyzer tests. 1
The United Kingdom has decided to install a drug-detecting machine in every police station within two years. They will also later be placed in police vehicles for use in roadside stops.
The only problem is that no accurate "drugalyzer" has yet been found. This is unfortunate because a study by the Transportation Research Laboratory found that drugs were a factor in about one in every four fatal traffic crashes.
Filed Under: Drinking and Driving