banner of Priorities and Strategies for Improving the Investigation, Use of Toxicology Results, and Prosecution of Drug-Impaired Driving Cases

Introduction:

In May 2004, a group representing toxicologists, drug recognition experts (DREs), and prosecutors active in the area of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases, was convened under the auspices of the National Safety Council’s Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAOD), and its subcommittee on Drugs: Pharmacology and Toxicology. The panel1 was charged with identifying problems with the current system of prosecuting drug-impaired driving cases, from the point of detection through adjudication. The discussions were wide ranging, and this report focuses on the recurrent themes and major issues identified. The panel was also encouraged to identify solutions to the problems, and to assign responsibility for follow-up. Among the issues addressed were:

  • Issue #1:  What are the major problems encountered in processing a drug-impaired driving case through the criminal justice system?
  • Issue #2:  Are current laws optimally structured to deter DUID?
  • Issue #3:  What resources currently exist to promote informed and effective DUID prosecution, and how can they be used more effectively?
  • Issue #4:  What should be the priority activities of stakeholders in advancing the enforcement and prosecution of drug-impaired driving?

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1 The members of the group and their affiliations are listed in Appendix 1.

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