Dr. Wilson found that the percentage of drugged drivers with three or more drugs in their system nearly doubled from 1993 to 2010, increasing from 11.5% to 21.5%. In 2010, nearly one in five drivers, or 20% involved in crashes, were under the influence of drugs. Furthermore, the study found that more and more people were using drugs combined with alcohol. Nearly 55% of drivers who tested positive for marijuana also had alcohol in their system. Marijuana varied with age: almost 60% of marijuana only uses were under 30 and 39% of prescription drug users were over 50.
Although 18 states currently have zero tolerance for drugged drivers, recent studies have documented that these laws may not be effective in decreasing traffic deaths. The study suggests that legislators and/or policy makers consider measures that would increase primary prevention of drug use by drivers through counseling by medical professionals and increasing avoidable access to mass transportation.
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