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Study Reveals More California Motorists are Driving Drugged than Drunk

By Kelly Balamuth on November 30, 2012

A new federally funded survey conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) showed drugged driving is on the rise in California and has surpassed drunk driving. The statewide impaired driving survey included more than nine cities and concluded that 14 percent of California drivers are driving under the influence of drugs, which is double the 7.3 percent who had alcohol. A member of the OTS states that nearly half of the motorists surveyed in the roadside survey had marijuana alone or combined it with alcohol and other drugs.

San Francisco DUID AccidentIn addition to illegal drugs, the study also found that drivers had prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which can also impair driving. As a number of drivers tested positive for illegal or prescriptions drugs, officials say it points to a growing and very serious threat.

Overall, the survey involved more than 1,300 drivers who voluntarily provided breath and/or saliva samples at roadside locations in different California cities, including Modesto, Fresno, Gardena, Ontario, Redding, Anaheim, Eureka, San Rafael, and Chula Vista. The study came as the California Highway Patrol prepared for its “maximum enforcement campaign” during the recently celebrated Thanksgiving holiday, largely in part to target drivers who may be under the influence.

The most recent statewide accident statistics from 2010 show that more individuals lose their lives on the road during Thanksgiving than any other major holiday besides New Year’s. The state has been trying to put more of a focus on drugged driving, not just drunk driving, which officials say is an emerging problem that has “often gone under-reported and under-recognized.”

A traffic accident can be caused by a number of things, but when a driver chooses to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the safety of every person on the road is in danger. If you or someone you love has been injured in such an accident, please call a traffic accident attorney at Balamuth Law for help in getting the compensation you need to recover after a crash. To schedule a no-cost consultation, call (888) 254-1234 or use our online Contact Form.

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Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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