The American Transportation Research Institute published a study how difficult it is to enforce laws against marijuana-impaired driving.
With more states legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana, professional truck drivers are more likely to be sharing the roadway with other drivers operating under the influence of marijuana.
ATRI’s research also seeks to document the most promising methods to identify and deter marijuana-impaired driving.
More data needs to be collected about the frequency and impacts of marijuana-impaired driving, ATRI says. It also supports public education about impaired driving risks; better equipping law enforcement and the court system to intercept and prosecute impaired drivers; and using tax revenue from marijuana sales to fund these activities.
“It is extremely concerning to motor carriers and our drivers that recreational marijuana is legal in so many states, yet as the ATRI report documents, a valid and widely accepted breathalyzer-type test is not available to law enforcement,” said Mike Card, President of Combined Transport, Inc.
“ATRI’s study clearly defines a role for federal and state leaders to support law enforcement and others in keeping the roadways safe from those who choose to drive high.”
The report also highlights the importance of training law enforcement to identify and collect evidence of marijuana-impaired driving, including development of more drug recognition experts (DREs).
“As ATRI’s research identifies, a key tool for combating drugged drivers is deploying additional Drug Recognition Experts,” said Mark Savage, deputy chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “A DRE can bring critical evidence to prosecutors that other tests simply cannot measure.”
For a copy of the report, including extensive information and charts detailing the current status of marijuana laws in the various states, click here.