Support for Drug Impaired Driving Legislation, Research and Training

WHEREAS, driving under the influence of illegal drugs has become a significant problem worldwide; and WHEREAS, 13 percent of 16-20 year olds report driving within two hours after drug use (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 1998 and CASA “Non-Medical Marijuana II April 2004); and WHEREAS, the World Health Organization estimates that 1.2 million people are killed on roads every year and up to 50 million more are injured. These casualties of the road will increase if action is not taken; and WHEREAS, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2002, 17,419 people were killed in crashes involving alcohol, representing 41 percent of the 42,815 people killed in all traffic crashes; and WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) have been identified as factors in 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths; and WHEREAS, drug impaired drivers are less frequently detected, prosecuted, or referred to treatment than drunk drivers; and WHEREAS, there is a lack of uniformity or consistency in the way the that governments around the world approach drug impaired drivers; and WHEREAS, too few police officers have been trained to detect drug impaired drivers, and too few prosecutors have been trained to prove drug driving cases beyond a reasonable doubt and too few Judges have been trained with regarded to drug impaired driving; and WHEREAS, while all governments are committed to stopping its citizens from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, there is no consistent method for identifying drug impairment and the presence of drugs in the body; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), duly assembled at its 111th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California, supports congressional development of Drugged Driving legislation, with a mandatory provision that a person operating a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of a controlled substance present in their system can be charged with drug impaired driving. The legislation should also provide for programs that support and enhance officer training and use of drug recognition techniques, training for prosecutors and Judges in the techniques of drug recognition, and funding for advance technology that enables officers to test for alcohol and all controlled substances in the field. Additional support for this legislation should be sought from the National District Attorney’s Association.