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Organization Increases Support for Drugged Driving Laws

Summary: 
The Governors Highway Safety Association is making great strides in support of reducing drugged driving.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy continues to raise awareness and work closely with Federal partners, state and local governments, law enforcement, community groups, and membership organizations across the country to reduce drugged driving in America. 

One membership association making great strides in support of reducing drugged driving is the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).  Participating as a lead organization for ONDCP’s inaugural 2011 Drugged Driving Summit, GHSA has been a supportive partner of the Administration’s drugged driving efforts. 

For the second straight year, it broadened its existing policy on drugged driving.  On September 6, 2012, GHSA announced its support of drugged driving per se laws and enhanced penalties for driving under the influence of multiple drugs.  With drugged driving per se laws, also known as zero tolerance laws,  a driver can be charged with impaired driving solely for having a drug is his/her system. Seventeen states currently have enacted these laws.  Additionally, GHSA is encouraging states to adopt an enhanced penalty for driving under the influence of multiple drugs, such as a combination of alcohol and another drug, or the combination of multiple drugs (other than alcohol).

“Drugged driving is a lot more complex than drunk driving because there are so many drugs and no national standards like there are for drunk driving. That makes it much more difficult for states to effectively address this growing problem. Drug per se laws are one of the few tools that states can use that will help get drugged drivers off the road.”  - Barbara Harsha, GHSA Executive Director

In 2010, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that among fatally injured drivers who were tested and the results reported, 33 percent tested positive for at least one drug.[1]

Drugged driving is a serious public health and public safety threat and sending a clear, consistent message to states to increase the adoption of per se laws and supporting enhanced penalties will help keep drugged drivers off the road. 

To find all state drug-impaired driving laws visit: www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/dre_perse_laws.html.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.



  1. [1] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drug Involvement of Fatally Injured Drivers. U.S. Department of Transportation Report No. DOT HS 811 415. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010.