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Survey: 1 in 7 Cali Drivers are High

A statewide survey finds driving on drugs is twice as common as driving while drunk.

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A common scenario in Cali. Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda

11/20/12

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A startling one in seven Californians driving on the weekend were under the influence of impairing drugs (both illegal and prescription), according to the results of a recent statewide survey. This was more than double the rate of drunk driving, and has caused Californian officials to gear up to address the potential dangers of driving while high. “These results reinforce our belief that driving after consuming potentially impairing drugs is a serious and growing problem,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. Researchers tested 1,300 drivers who voluntarily provided breath or saliva samples at various roadside locations in nine cities through out California; they then tested the samples for THC, alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs. They found that 14% of drivers tested positive for driving under the influence of drugs (both prescription and illegal), with marijuana the most common; this compares to 7.3% of drivers who tested positive for alcohol. “Drugged driving poses a serious threat to public safety,” Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with California and other states to raise awareness about this important issue and continue to take action to make our roadways safer.”

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