Should you be driving?

Aussie drink-driving laws have similar penalties, but our BAC level is still at .05. This will be moved to .02 in the coming years.
Be safe for you, your family and the person you may injure because, you thought you were ‘ok to drive!’



People Against Drink/Drug Driving

padd logo imageImagine if you had to tell a family that their child was never coming home again...because a driver had a few too many drinks and they were too lazy to get a taxi? How would you feel if it was your child? Your brother, your parent, your best friend? Now imagine that you're the one who had a few drinks and thought...Home isn't too far. I'll make it without getting busted. While on the back streets worrying if the booze bus will catch you, you hit someone. How do you live with that for the rest of your life?

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November 30, 2020

Blurred nighttime road from perspective of a drugged driver

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Check out a few key frequently asked questions and answers about drug-impaired driving below.

What is drug-impaired driving? Driving under the influence of over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, marijuana, or illegal drugs.

How common is drug-impaired driving?  In 2019, 13.7 million people (ages 16 and older) drove after using illicit drugs. Of that total,12.8 million people were under the influence of marijuana (2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables).

This is an increase from 2018 when 12.6 million people (aged 16 and older) admitted to driving after using drugs.

In 2016, 44 percent of drivers in fatal car crashes (with known results) tested positive for drugs, according to a report entitled "Drug-Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States" by the Governors Highway Safety Association. This is up from 28 percent in 2006. 

Why is drug-impaired driving dangerous? Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and drugs affect the brain and can alter perception, mental processes, attention, balance, coordination, reaction time and other abilities required for safe driving. Even small amounts of some drugs can have a serious effect on driving ability.

A national survey showed 22.5% of night-time weekend drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or OTC drugs that can impair driving. (Drug-Impaired Driving: A Guide for States, April 2017. NHTSA 2014 Drug-Impaired Driving Survey, April 2017. NHTSA 2014 Drug-Impaired Driving Survey, April 2017. NHTSA 2014 Drug-Impaired Driving Survey)

What substances are used the most when driving? After alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly used drug. (Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse)

What happens when you use drugs and drive? Marijuana can decrease a person’s ability to drive a car. It slows reaction time, impairs a driver’s concentration and attention, and reduces hand-eye coordination. It is dangerous to drive after mixing alcohol and marijuana. Driving after using prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, such as cough suppressants, antihistamines, sleeping aids, and anti-anxiety medications may impair driving ability.

Check out the graphic below from the National Institute on Drug Abuse about the effects different drugs can have on driving (click to enlarge).

Graphic: Marijuana- slows reaction time and impairs judgement of time and distance; meth or cocaine - aggressive and reckless behaviors; opioids - drowsiness and impaired memory and thinking skills; sedatives (benzodiazepines, barbiturates) - dizziness and drowsiness

Is it legal? Even in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, driving while under the influence of marijuana is still illegal. Unfortunately, too many people are misinformed. A study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that a third of all teens believe it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana. In addition 27 percent of parents believed it was legal.

Not only is driving while high illegal, it's also very dangerous. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the effects of marijuana can include: altered senses and sense of time, slow reaction time, anxiety, hallucinations and more.

For complete article

Dec 2, 2020

Cannabidiol (CBD) – a key component of medicinal cannabis products – does not impair driving, a landmark study led by Australian researchers has found.

Researchers found that a moderate amount of THC produces mild driving impairment, but the effects wear off after four hours.

The study is the first to show the lack of CBD effects on driving and to provide a clear indication of the duration of THC impairment.

The study was led by researchers from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney and conducted at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Previous studies have looked at the effects of cannabis on driving, but they have not “precisely quantified the duration of impairment” from THC, and most have overlooked CBD entirely.

“This is the first study to illustrate the lack of CBD effects on driving and to also provide a clear indication of the duration of THC impairment,” Professor McGregor said.

He said the results “should reassure people using CBD-only products that they are most likely safe to drive, while helping patients using THC-dominant products to understand the duration of impairment”. For complete article  New

But this new single study is at odds of other research ...

Those findings don’t gel with prior research. Asbridge et al (2012) completed a systematic review and concluded that cannabis contributed to vehicle collision risk. In their review of trends in states and nations that have legalised, Fischer et al (2020) note that cannabis-related road fatalities show a tend to have increased.

Asbridge M, Hayden JA, Cartwright JL. (2012) Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk: systematic review of observational studies and meta-analysis. BMJ. 344:e536.

Fischer B, Daldegan-Bueno D, Boden JM. (2020) Facing the option for the legalisation of cannabis use and supply in New Zealand: An overview of relevant evidence, concepts and considerations. Drug Alcohol Rev. 39(5):555-567.

Queensland’s renowned roadside police drug testing unit has been unceremoniously shut down after 13 years, leaving 20 officers out of a job and awaiting reassignment.

The unit has been on the front line of Queensland‘s fight against drug driving, conducting up to 25 per cent of the state’s 75,000 random drug tests each, The Courier-Mail was told.

The officers were called into a meeting at Nundah Station on Monday with Assistant Commissioner Ben Marcus and told they were now surplus to requirements and would be reassigned when positions became available.

All officers were told to handover a list of three preferences for where they would like to be assigned to next, a source at the meeting said.

“They‘re miserable,” the source said.

Opposition police spokesman Dan Purdie said the move was a concern, given the spike in the road toll this year.
“Roadside drug testing is a vital tool in cracking down on drug affected drivers who shouldn’t be on the road,“ he said.

“I’m gobsmacked by this decision which once again highlights why Queenslanders deserve to see a full state budget before the state election.
“We need more police on the ground to prevent and detect crime and that’s what the LNP will deliver.”
“The capability and capacity to perform roadside drug testing around the state will not be impacted by these changes,” Commissioner Carroll said.

For complete story

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