In his continuing series on bogus trends reported in the news media, Slate’s Jack Shafer cites the New York Times for last week’s story headlined “Drivers on Prescription Drugs Are Hard to Convict.” The story doesn’t present evidence that drivers on prescription drugs are hard to convict, Shafer says. It notes three arrests and two convictions. In the case of the first, the Times does not report the resolution of the case. Did the woman charged plead guilty? Was the case dropped? Was she acquitted? These are slim data upon which to conclude that meds-impaired drivers are hard to convict.
How many meds-impaired drivers are out there? The Times, midway through the story, confesses it has no numbers.