Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and illegal drugs may cause impairment alone or in combination with each other and/or with alcohol. In every State and the District of Columbia, impaired driving is illegal. Whether by drugs — legal or illegal — alcohol, or a combination of both drugs and alcohol, impaired driving puts the driver, their passengers, and other road users at risk. In NHTSA’s National Roadside Survey conducted in 2013-2014, 20 percent of drivers surveyed tested positive for potentially impairing drugs. Let’s work together to share this life-saving message: Impaired driving is illegal and deadly.
Drugs and Driving
While we’ve long studied and understood the dangers involving drunk driving, we are still researching and learning about the effects of drugs on driving. Meanwhile, it has become an increasing public and governmental concern in the United States.
The 2013-2014 Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers found an increase in the number of drivers testing positive for marijuana and other drugs that can impair driving skills compared to the 2007 survey findings. In the 2013-2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could potentially affect safe driving skills.
Drug-impaired driving is an important safety issue that NHTSA continues to research. The agency is working to develop new knowledge on how drugs affect driving, to grow new and enhance existing programs to reduce drug-impaired driving.
How Marijuana Affects Driving
NHTSA’s National Drug-Impaired Driving Initiative
On January 25, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a new initiative to combat drug-impaired driving, a form of impaired driving that is illegal in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. With a national opioid epidemic and States legalizing marijuana to varying degrees, NHTSA is making drug-impaired driving a top priority. Goals include:
- Starting a national dialogue and developing strong policies;
- Launching a public awareness and education initiative to stigmatize drug-impaired driving; and
- Exploring and leveraging innovative approaches to prevent drug-impaired driving.
July 16: King kicks off regional stakeholder dialogues
NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King was in Seattle on July 16 for the first of many regional meetings to advance the agency's initiative to lead a national dialogue on combating drug-impaired driving. Read her remarks.
Ideas, concerns, and thoughts
NHTSA wants you to join in the conversation about drug-impaired driving. Share your thoughts, concerns, ideas to us in an email. We'll summarize and add them to the appropriate idea board from the meeting.
Search for more resources
U.S. Department of Transportation Launches New Ad Campaign to Stop Impaired Driving
Annual IACP Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving
||Speeches and Presentations||Advocacy Groups||08/13/2018|
Impaired Driving Leadership Model: Findings Based on Three State Case Studies - Report
Ideas to Impact: A Dialogue to Address Drug-Impaired Driving
||Speeches and Presentations||07/16/2018|
2016 Digest of State Laws: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, First Edition