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Drugs “Other than Alcohol”. Alcohol is responsible for 38% of traffic deaths. Drugs other than alcohol account for at least 18% of traffic deaths in the US. The dirty little secret. This is a guess, I believe a LOW percentage. And a ever INCREASING problem.

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drugs other than alcohol
Drugs “Other than Alcohol”
  • Alcohol is responsible for 38% of traffic deaths. Drugs other than alcohol account for at least 18% of traffic deaths in the US.
  • The dirty little secret.
  • This is a guess, I believe a LOW percentage.
  • And a ever INCREASING problem.
  • It is NOT just the illegal drugs.
  • Driving while drugged is DWI.
drugs and alcohol
Drugs and Alcohol
  • If you investigate the 18% that are drugs other than alcohol, 96% of these “drug” accidents, have alcohol is their system in addition to the drug.
  • 50% have a BAC of .10 or greater.
  • Combining drugs and alcohol is almost always synergistic. (later)
enforcement issues
Enforcement issues
  • A. Testing is a blood sample not a breathalyzer creating many issues. Cost and withdrawing a blood sample are just two.

B. There is not per se limit as with BAC. How much of a drug is impaired? There is no simple answer here.C. There are thousands of drugs, legal and illegal and interactions.D. There are seizure laws, dealing laws, and all kinds of laws complicating the whole issue with drugs, both legal and illegal.

alcohol is a simple issue
Alcohol is a simple issue
  • .08 you are guilty.
  • The breathalyzer is accepted by the courts and police can administer it.
  • The sentence structure is in place.
  • Compared to “other drugs”, alcohol seems simple.
moving to drugs
Moving to drugs
  • The number of alcohol related deaths and the success in reducing alcohol related accidents, could be in part, to a change in impairment to drugs.
  • Drugs are easier to hide, use and get away with than is alcohol.
  • If you add the 38% and the 18%, the is 56% of traffic deaths are impaired drivers.
  • That is about the same as 1970.
we are a drug dependant society
We are a drug dependant society.
  • Most people take some form of drug on a regular basis. Look at your mom’s medicine cabinet. I am not just talking about illegal drugs.
  • There is a widespread belief that medicine/drugs can solve any problems we might have. Your parents generation are all on some form of drug every day.
  • There is a widespread disregard of the law by many in our society. Drink under age? Smoke a little dope? Speed just a little? Run that yellow light? Throw that trash is someone’s yard or out the window? See!
  • No one thinks it will happen to them. Drug addiction, or even death, happens to someone else.
the effects of one drug
The effects of one drug
  • Therapeutic effects. This is the intended effect of a drug.
  • Side effects. These effects may be unwanted, such as being drowsy from a decongestant.
  • Residual effects. This is the hangover the next day. Or the withdrawal from caffeine.
combining drugs can cause serious problems
Combining Drugs can cause serious problems
  • The additive effect is that you get both or all of the drug's effects. 1+1=2. This is usually intended.
  • The antagonistic effect is where one drug cancels or counteracts another. This might be deadly when taking drugs for high blood pressure or diabetes and another drug stops them from working as they are supposed to. 1+1=0.
  • The synergistic effect is where the resulting interaction is greater than the sum of the parts. 1+1=3. Barbiturates and alcohol for example. These interactions can cause brain damage oreven death. All of these may cause serious impairment when attempting to drive, and can result in a DWI charge.
classes of drugs
Classes of Drugs
  • A. Depressants. Alcohol, barbiturates, tranquilizers, narcotics, codeine,morphine and the volatile chemicals.B. Stimulants. Amphetamines, cocaine.C. Hallucinogens. LSD, PCB, STP as well as marijuana.
  • Yes, the medical community still lists marijuana as an hallucinogen.
marijuana
Marijuana
  • The debate here in not new. Hashish has been around for millenniums. Legalizing marijuana is a resent issue (60’s)
  • The issue of classification is simple, if marijuana is classified as a depressant, it has a chance of being legalized. If it remains an hallucinogen, there is no way legislatures are not going legalize something that makes people hallucinate.
dope continued
Dope, continued
  • The talking point is usually:
  • It is no worse than alcohol.
  • Let me remind you, 17,000 deaths, 600,000 serious injuries, and $100s of billions lost to drinking and driving each year.
  • Do we need another alcohol on the highways?
drugs and dwi
Drugs and DWI
  • The problem with drugs, other than alcohol, is proof of impairment.
  • The officer has to prove impairment. Video tape and blood tests, as well as the breathalyzer, help in court to prove impairment.
  • The one thing that works in favor of the officer, is that most juries still look at drugs more harshly than alcohol.
  • But, it is still a DWI. Even if it is a lawfully prescribed drug. Insurance and all.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • All drugs, legal and illegal, may have serious effects on anyone's ability to drive. Before operating a vehicle at 60 or 70 mph, make sure you, or the person you are riding with, are fit to drive.
  • Friends don’t let friends drive DWI.