State survey shows rise in driver drug use, Mono DA comments

A new State of California survey shows that more drivers tested positive for drugs that may impair driving than for alcohol. Locally, Mono County District Attorney Tim Kendall said that “Although no surveys of this kind have been conducted in Mono County, we are seeing a similar upward trend in the number of cases we now file.”

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the first-ever statewide roadside survey of alcohol and drug use by drivers revealed that drugs which can impair driving were found in one of every seven drivers. The State press release says 14% of drivers tested positive for drugs and 7.3% for alcohol. Of the drugs, according to the State, “Marijuana was most prevalent at 7.4%, slightly more than alcohol.”

The State Director of the Office of Traffic Safety, Christopher Murphy, said, “these results reinforce our belief that driving after consuming potentially impairing drugs is a serious and growing problem.”

The survey also noted that of the 7.3% of drivers who tested positive for alcohol, 23% of those also tested positive for at least one other drug. The survey discovered that impaired drivers had consumed both illegal drugs and prescription or over the counter medications that might impair driving.

Another statistic revealed that in 2010 in California, of drivers who were killed in traffic wrecks, 30% tested positive for legal and/ or illegal drugs – a percentage on the rise since 2006.

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6 Responses to State survey shows rise in driver drug use, Mono DA comments

  1. Trouble December 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    So 21.3% of all drivers are breaking some law. That should give Mammoths police something to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  2. Big AL December 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    The problem isn’t growing .. it has always been there, it is just that it is being exposed more by law enforcement which is getting much more controlling. but then there is soo much more crap that people do now days, it’s no wonder they have to be controlled. The people who are not doing anything wrong have to pay for the ones who don’t know how to act.

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  3. Eastern Sierra Local December 7, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    ……And despite these statistics, alcohol and drug related traffic accidents are down statewide and nationwide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. johnjcampnfish December 8, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Maybe these roadside surveys could also count the number of drivers with cell phones within reach. Cell phones “may impair driving”. Burger and burrito wrapers in the car are also evidence of potentially impaired driving. Oh, and a nagging spouse riding shotgun would be a definite distraction and impairment to truly safe operation of a motor vehicle.
    I eagerly await future surveys that count up more distractions that can be described as impairments to driving safely and the case made that our law enforcement all across the state is woefully underfunded in dealing with this growing problem and threat to public safety. Thank goodness we now have a super majority of statesmen in Sacramento with the courage to raise taxes to fund these needs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. Trouble December 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    What a waste of money this survey is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Wayne Deja December 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Can’t be talking about driving under the influence of marijuana…. hard-core pot-heads claim there is no such thing…and insist driving while high on pot not only cures cancer,but it actually makes you a BETTER driver….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

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