MADD Disputes Report on Impact of Drugs in Car Fatalities

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A report last week by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggesting that drivers killed in crashes are more likely to be on drugs than drunk is being criticized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), says the Washington Post. “There is no way you can say drugs have overtaken alcohol as the biggest killer on the highway,” said J.T. Griffin, chief government affairs officer at MADD. He also questioned the data in the report, noting there is no scientifically certified test to measure the level of impairment from drugs such as marijuana or opioids.

The GHSA, a nonprofit representing state highway safety officers, cited federal statistics that 43 percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, higher than the 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for alcohol. The report comes as 29 states, along with the District of Columbia, have moved to legalize medical marijuana. Some have also lifted penalties on recreational use. The GHSA urged states to step up efforts to train law enforcers to spot and arrest impaired drivers who have been using drugs.

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