Responsibility.org Urges Nationwide Action to Stop Multiple Substance Impaired Driving as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month Begins and U.S. House passes MORE Act
Arlington, Va. — As America kicks off December’s National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, Responsibility.org urges Americans to take action to prevent impaired driving — particularly the rising problem of multiple-substance impaired driving, where individuals drive under the influence of a combination of substances that have an exponential and especially dangerous effect on impairment.
This week the United States House of Representatives is expected to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (H.R. 3884), which does not address the issue of impaired driving or underage consumption just as many states have also legalized cannabis without effective countermeasures in place to address these issues.
While traffic-safety advocates and Americans in general have made significant progress in the fight to eliminate impaired driving in the last few decades, the issue of multiple-substance impaired driving has steadily grown as substances have become decriminalized or legalized at a quicker pace than municipalities, police departments and manufacturers have been able to put procedures, training, and equipment in place to effectively measure and address the issue.
“Impaired drivers do not drink alcohol on Monday, consume cannabis on Tuesday, and take impairing medications on Wednesday. More and more, people are driving impaired by three or more impairing substances, which is a national road safety crisis, and we must help people understand the extreme crash risk posed by this behavior,” said Darrin T. Grondel, Vice President of Government Relations and Traffic Safety at Responsibility.org.
One in three Americans now lives in an area where cannabis consumption is legal. Additionally, greater use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, an ongoing opioid epidemic, and continued challenges with eliminating alcohol-impaired driving create a new and dangerous road risk.
Driving impaired by one substance is dangerous but when substances are combined, there is a multiplicative effect on driver impairment. People who drive under the influence of alcohol and other substances are up to 200 times more likely to be involved in a crash (Shulze et al., 2012; Griffiths, 2014).
Adding to the organization’s industry-leading inventory of resources to help address impaired driving, Responsibility.org today announced its formation of the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving (NASID), a broad coalition effort to eliminate all forms of impaired driving, especially multiple-substance impaired driving, through DUI system reform, DUI detection, data improvements and technology to effectively fight impaired driving.
Responsibility.org is sponsoring a December 2 webinar hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The webinar is called “Drunk and High Behind the Wheel: Tackling the Growing Threat of Polysubstance-Impaired Driving” and you can register for it here.
Complementing today’s announcement of NASID, the organization released three new resources designed to tackle the issue of impaired driving as part of Responsibility.org’s Stop High-Risk Impaired Driving Program, which can be accessed at www.StopHRID.org.
- Cannabis Impairment Detection Workshop Handbook: A how to guide on hosting “green labs” to help law enforcement and prosecutors detect cannabis impairment.
- Law Enforcement Courtroom Testimony Checklist: Tips for law enforcement professionals to improve courtroom testimony in DUI cases and how to build a strong DUI case.
- A Guide to DUI Pretrial Services: Services to protect public safety and connect impaired drivers with screening, assessment and if needed treatment resources to begin recovery from substance use and/or mental health disorders while awaiting trial.
Responsibility.org supports a comprehensive approach to impaired driving prevention, especially actions to promote accountability and behavior change and broader use of technologies to prevent impaired driving, such as ignition interlocks, oral fluid testing, monitoring and detection technologies.
For more information, please visit www.StopHRID.org.
About Responsibility.org: The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empowers adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky LLC, and Pernod Ricard USA. For nearly 30 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit Responsibility.org.