Drugged Driving In 2015, MADD updated its mission to also “help fight drugged driving.” Drugged driving has become an epidemic over the last decade through abuse of legal and illegal drugs. Nine states and D.C. have passed laws allowing recreational marijuana use, and 29 states allow for medical marijuana use. Along with marijuana, prescription drugs are commonly linked to drugged driving crashes. In August 2016, the Surgeon General sent a letter to every doctor in the United States asking them to help solve the problem of opioid addiction. Deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. 13 According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.7 million people age 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol in the past year, and 11.8 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs. NSDUH also reported that men are more likely than women to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and that a higher percentage of young adults age 18 to 25 drive after taking drugs or drinking than do adults age 26 or older. A 2010 nationwide study of deadly crashes found that about 47 percent of drivers who tested positive for drugs had used a prescription drug, compared to 37 percent of those who had used marijuana and about 10 percent of those who had used cocaine. The most common prescription drugs found were pain relievers. 14 Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® Drunk driving costs the United States 10,000 lives and $132 billion per year. 15 In 2006, in response to these staggering figures, MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving with four key initiatives: 1. High-Visibility Law Enforcement An aggressive law enforcement presence is one of the greatest deterrents of drunk driving. When people think they will be caught, they are less likely to drive after drinking. That is why MADD supports high-visibility law enforcement efforts. This includes saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, which can reduce drunk driving deaths by 20 percent. 16 Despite this, 12 states do not allow DUI checkpoints and 10 are prohibited based on state constitutions. MADD also supports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement in their campaigns to reduce impaired driving. These crackdowns and public awareness campaigns let people know that law enforcement is keeping a watchful eye for drunk drivers during certain times of the year.
MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving has four key initiatives:
High-Visibility Law Enforcement
Advanced Vehicle Technology
13 Time Magazine. Alexandra Sifferlin. August 26, 2016 14 Wilson FA, Stimpson JP, Pagán JA. Fatal crashes from drivers testing positive for drugs in the U.S., 1993-2010. Public Health Rep Wash DC 1974. 2014;129(4):342-350.
15 Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE). http://www.pire.org 16 American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 21, Number 4S
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