One third of drug tests done on drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents came back positive for drugs ranging from hallucinogens to prescription pain killers last year, a 5 percent increase since 2005, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said today, according to USA Today. Sixty-three percent of all drivers killed were tested last year for drugs – a 7 percent increase since 2005.
Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the numbers of fatalities involving drugs “alarmingly high,” and called for more states to pass laws making it a crime to have illegal drugs in the body while driving, no matter how much. Seventeen states already have such laws. While much research has been done on the impact of alcohol on driving, much less has been done on the impact of drugs on driving. The new analysis of drugs doesn’t include whether the drugs were at levels that would impair driving.