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How Big of a Problem is Drugged Driving in Atlanta?

What is a bigger problem, drunk driving or drugged driving in Atlanta? The statistics may surprise you.

The 2007 NHTSA National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers found that 16 percent of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for a legal or illegal drug that could impair driving. Shocked? The next fact may truly alarm you. Drugs were 7 times more prevalent in weekend nighttime drivers than alcohol. Only two percent of drivers tested at or above the .08 BAC legal limit for alcohol.

Drugged driving refers to the use of both illegal and legal drugs by the operator of a motor vehicle. The most commonly used drug is marijuana. The National Roadside Survey found that almost half of the weekend nighttime drivers who tested positive for drugs had marijuana in their system.

Drug use among weekend nighttime drivers participating in the National Roadside Survey

  • Marijuana (8.6%)
  • Cocaine (3.9%)
  • Methamphetamine (1.3%)

Experts estimate that drugs are involved in at least 20 percent of all crashes in the United States. This would be about 8,500 deaths each year. However, it is impossible to estimate just how many accident deaths are drug-related. Many states don’t routinely test accident victims or the drivers who cause accidents for drug use.

In addition, it is more difficult to measure levels of drug impairment than of alcohol impairment. There is a strong correlation between blood alcohol levels and driver impairment. A driver with a 0.08 BAC will usually show certain signs that they are not able to drive responsibly. Drug impairment is more complex. Drugs may have a unique effect on each individual. There are no pre-set legal limits for drug use.

Because of these issues, proving that a drugged driver caused an Atlanta auto accident can be difficult. If you have lost a loved one to a drugged driver in Georgia, you may have to fight to get justice. Don’t let the driver get by with his irresponsible and wrongful actions. Contact an Atlanta DUI injury lawyer and learn about your rights.

Atlanta DUI injury lawyer Shane Smith fights to help the families of victims of Atlanta drunk driving and drugged driving crashes get accountability for their loss. To learn more, request a free copy of Shane Smith’s book, I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? To discuss your claim with a Georgia drugged driving victim attorney, contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 866-979-1629.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia