30 million Americans drove drunk in 2009

Posted on December 9, 2010

A survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that in the past year, 13.2 percent of drivers 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3 percent drove while under the influence of illicit drugs.

Wisconsin (23.7 percent) and North Dakota (22.4 percent) had the highest rates of drunk driving while Rhode Island (7.8 percent) and Vermont (6.6 percent) had the highest levels of drugged driving.

Data shows that drunk and drugged driving have decreased between 2002 and 2009. Drunk driving has dropped from 14.6 to 13.2 percent and the rate of drugged driving decreased from 4.8 to 4.3 percent. However, one in three motor vehicle fatalities with known drug test results tested positive for drugs in 2009.

"This new data adds to other emerging research revealing that there is an alarmingly high percentage of Americans on our roadways with drugs in their system," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. "At a time when drug use is on the rise, it is crucial that communities act today to address the threat of drugged driving as we work to employ more targeted enforcement and develop better tools to detect the presence of drugs among drivers."

Related Topics: drug use/testing

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