Better DUI Detection

Better DUI Detection

Testing for both drugs and alcohol among impaired drivers should be a best practice and will lead to:

  • Reduced recidivism
  • A better understanding of the issue
  • Informed decision-making regarding policy and resource allocation.
  • Effective case disposition
  • Sentences tailored to offender supervision and treatment needs

Multiple pilot programs have shown more than 1/3 of impaired drivers have drugs in their system and illegal BAC levels:

  • 36% of DUI tests in Orange County, CA detected impaired drugs AND a BAC of .08+ (Source Harmon, 2019)
  • 39% of Miami-Dade drivers tested positive for drugs AND a BAC of .08+ (Source: Logan et al., 2014)
  • 40% of drivers in Dane County, WI tested positive for drugs AND a BAC of .10+ (Source Edwards et al., 2017)

Usually, these individuals would only be identified as alcohol-impaired drivers and further investigation regarding drug use would be unlikely to occur.

  • 50.5% of fatally injured drug-positive drivers (with known drug test results) were positive for two or more drugs and 40.7% were found to have alcohol in their system (NHTSA FARS as cited in Hedlund, 2018)
  • Among drug-positive drivers killed in crashes, 4% tested positive for both marijuana and opioids, 16% for opioids only, 38% for marijuana only, and 42% for other drugs (Governors Highway Safety Association, 2017)
  • The percentage of traffic deaths in which at least one driver tested positive for drugs has nearly doubled over a decade. (USA Today, 2016) (Source:
  • The number of alcohol-positive drivers killed in crashes who also tested positive for drugs increased by 16% from 2006 to 2016 (Governors Highway Safety Association, 2017)

Click here for more information on the need for expanded drug testing.