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December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month – a time to focus our efforts toward recognizing the risks and reducing the prevalence of drugged driving. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is proud to join Administrator David Strickland and the staff of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in observing National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and working to stop drugged driving all year long.
Drugged driving presents a deadly risk to everyone on the road. According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 1 in 3 drivers who were killed in a motor vehicle crash in 2010 with known test results tested positive for drugs (illicit substances as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications). Additional FARS data showed that while the overall number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States has declined, involvement of drugs in fatal crashes increased by 6 percentage points over the past 6 years.
We commend efforts by individuals, communities, and states to combat these risks and work toward improving our public health and safety. One such individual is Ed Wood, who is recognized as one of ONDCP’s Advocates for Action because of his work promoting drugged driving laws and drug per se legislation, which he began pursuing after his son was killed by a drugged driver. ONDCP urges all states to adopt drug per se laws. We also applaud state efforts such as California’s recent signing of Assembly Bill 2552, which, when enacted in 2014, will differentiate between drunk driving, drugged driving, and driving under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol.
While these endeavors are valuable steps toward decreasing the risks of drugged driving, there is much more we can and must do. I look forward to working with Administrator Strickland throughout December to make the most of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, and I encourage you to get involved, as well.
Learn about NHTSA’s campaigns Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, and visit our Drugged Driving page for additional information. We hope you will spread awareness about drugged driving and encourage your family and friends to “drive with reason” this holiday season.
 U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drug Involvement of Fatally Injured Drivers (November 2010). 2010 statistics are from unpublished ONDCP tabulations of data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (October 2012).