According to a survey released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fewer Americans are drinking and driving, but one in six drivers are driving while on drugs during the weekend.
The data was released on Monday, July13 from a survey conducted in 2007. The survey showed that 2.2% of drivers were legally driving drunk, with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher.
The first time this survey was conducted was in 1973, where the data showed 7.5% of drivers had a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher. This survey was also conducted in 1986 and 1996.
Although the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is pleased to see the drunk driving battle is successful, he point out that “alcohol still kills 13,000 people a year on our rads and we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to prevent drunk driving.”
The same survey also found that 16.3% of drivers on the road on weekend nights tested positive for drugs. This was the first time the survey checked for drug use while driving.
The most commonly used drugs by drivers were marijuana at 8.6%, cocaine at 3.9% and over-the-counter and prescription drugs at 3.9%.
“This troubling data shows us, for the first time, the scope of drugged driving in America and reinforces the need to reduce drug abuse,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The 2007 survey included the answers of almost 11,000 drivers who entered random survey sites set up across the country to questions drivers who agreed to participate.