Drivers Are Boozing Less But Toking Up Is High, Feds Say
Driving while drunk has fallen dramatically over the last few decades but drug use is much more popular, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the latest NHTSA roadside survey, drivers caught with blood alcohol concentrations above the legal limit fell to 2.2 percent in 2007, compared to 7.5 percent in 1975.
Until 2007, the feds were only equipped to measure boozing – 0.08 blood alcohol concentrations or higher mean you are legally drunk. But now, the NHTSA has spiffy new screening techniques that detect drug use too. Of the nighttime weekend drivers tested in 2007, 16.3 percent were on drugs – mostly marijuana, with cocaine in second place, followed by prescription pills, the NHTSA says.
Yeah, but how scientific is a survey of 300 stops nationwide? What about all those others who weren’t caught up in the dragnets, would they be more likely to be drugged or smashed? And, the NHTSA has segregated out the "nighttime weekend" druggies, while the boozing data apparently includes stops at all times of day and night. Perhaps the announcement's true intent is to put drug users on warning that toking and tweaking no longer goes undetected.