Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Federal Government Will Use Drugged Driving Study to Promote Stronger Drug Crime Laws

A new study just released by the federal government will likely be used to promote the administration's policies against drug crimes. The study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House Office of Drug Control Policy analyzed traffic accident fatality data from 2009, and found that 33% of these fatalities had traces of drugs in their system. As expected, the media has taken the story and run with it, while ignoring many of the facts.

For instance, nowhere in the study does it mention what kind of drugs these persons were on when they were involved in the accident. There's nothing to differentiate a legal prescription medication from illegal narcotics. Besides, the report does nothing to address the fact that some drugs can stay in a person's system for days after being ingested. Take marijuana, for instance. It can stay in your system for weeks after inhalation or ingestion, and will have nothing to do with an accident many days later. The bottom line is that the marijuana in the system may show up in an autopsy report, but will have nothing to do with the accident, at all.

Besides, the report fails to differentiate between the amount of drugs consumed. We don't know how many of those 33% of traffic fatalities had low traces of drugs in their system that likely did not impact their driving abilities at all, or larger residues of medications.

San Diego criminal defense lawyers
understand it is a study that needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but it is part of the hype that drug enforcement officials wants to create to drum up support for stronger drug crime legislation.

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