Study: 1 in 3 Drivers Test Positive for Drugs

A new study conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Commission has found that one-third of all Washington motorists has some trace of drugs in their system. The substances detected in the study include medications, illegal narcotics, and marijuana.

As KIRO 7 reports, 2,400 drivers were assessed statewide and 1 in 3 tested positive for some kind substance while behind the wheel. Nearly 15% of the drivers tested were considered "high" on marijuana, according to the study—which may be a particular concern for Washington officials in the wake of cannabis legalization.

The data from the study wasn't all troubling: the survey also produced lower-than-expected alcohol intoxication numbers. Compared to the 33% percent of drug-positive drivers, only 5% of the drivers tested were over the legal limit for alcohol.

"Summer Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over"

Washington law enforcement is using the new study to help bolster impaired driving awareness. Agencies are participating in the nationwide campaign "Summer Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over" to crackdown on drivers who drive while under the influence of illegal or intoxicating substances-- drugs included.

Drug-impaired driving (or "drugged driving") has proven to be a harder offense to detect and punish than drunk driving. This is partly because there is no current "drug breathalyzer," nor is there reliable science behind marijuana testing and whether positive results indicate that a driver was actually affected (or "high"). Still, drugged driving is punishable just like DUI charges and can yield the same consequences.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI or marijuana DUI, then it is critical that you are aware of your legal options. At the Law Office of Mark W. Garka, PLLC, I have dedicated my entire firm to defending and advocating for motorists facing these charges. As a former prosecutor, I know what challenges my clients face and what must be done to best protect their rights and interests.

Start learning about your legal options with a proven Snohomish County DUI defense lawyer on your side. Call my firm today.