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Key Resources

  • For more background on drug-impaired driving, see GHSA (2017) and Thomas et al. (2020).
  • For drug-impaired-driving trends, see Kelley-Baker et al. (2017) and Lipari et al. (2016).
  • For drug-impaired-driving laws, see NCSL (2020) and GHSA (n.d.).
  • For a list of States that have legalized cannabis, see NCSL (2022).
  • For a summary of the effects of 16 selected drugs, both licit and illicit, on human performance while driving, see Couper and Logan (2014).
  • For a discussion of some of the complexities associated with understanding the problem and countering drug-impaired driving, see Arnold & Scopatz (2016), Compton (2017), Compton et al. (2009), and Gourdet et al. (2020).

Key Terms

  • ARIDE: Advanced roadside impaired driving enforcement, a training course designed to educate law enforcement officers about drug-impaired driving and to serve as a bridge between the SFST and DRE trainings

  • BAC: blood alcohol concentration in the body, expressed in grams of alcohol per deciliter (g/dL) of blood, usually measured with a breath or blood test
  • CODES: Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System
  • DUID: driving under the influence of drugs
  • DRE: drug recognition expert, a law enforcement officer specifically trained in identifying drivers who are drug-impaired
  • DWI: the offense of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. In different States the offense may be called driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence (DUI), or other similar terms
  • Harm reduction model: a model minimizing the harms of a health behavior, such as drug misuse or abuse, without necessarily extinguishing the behavior
  • Illegal per se law: law that makes it an offense to operate a motor vehicle with a threshold of a substance at or above a specified level
  • SFST: standardized field sobriety tests, a procedure to assess whether a person is at or above .08 BAC
  • Surveillance system: the systematic collection and interpretation of data for the purpose of informing programs, policies, prevention, and the public
  • THC: delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive constituent in cannabis. The THC metabolite, hydroxy-THC, is also psychoactive.
  • Zero-tolerance law: in relation to drug-impaired driving, a law that makes it an offense to operate a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of an illicit drug in the body.