Use of any psychoactive (mind-altering) drug makes it highly unsafe to drive a car and is illegal—just like driving after drinking alcohol. Drugged driving puts at risk not only the driver but also passengers and others who share the road (InfoFacts: Drugged Driving, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2013).
A driver commits the crime of impaired driving whenever his or her ability to safely operate a vehicle is impaired by the effects of illegal drugs, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications, or by having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher (OVC HELP Series for Crime Victims: Impaired Driving, Office for Victims of Crime, 2012).Data for 2011 show that alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (fatalities in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or greater) declined 2.5% from 10,136 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in 2010 to 9,878 such deaths in 2011. Alcohol-impaired fatalities represented 31% of the total driving fatalities in 2011 (2011 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2013). Data from 2009 show that 3,952 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement. This number represents 18% of all fatally injured drivers and 33% of those with known drug test results in 2009. Note: interpretation of these data must be done with caution (Drug Involvement of Fatally Injured Drivers, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011).
Since 1981, every President of the United States has demonstrated a commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month, and most recently, as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. In recognition of this observance and for use throughout the year, NCJRS presents this compilation of resources on impaired driving. Please select an option from the list below or from the section at the right under the heading "Impaired Driving" to learn more: