Impaired Driving Isn’t
Limited to Just Alcohol
growing and complex problem.
1 in 4 drivers
tested positive for
at least one drug
that could affect safety.*
can come from
We’re Working to Understand
This Serious Crime
In 2015, MADD expanded its mission to include fighting drug-impaired driving. We created a Drugged Driving Task Force with key law enforcement, traffic safety and research experts to study the potential effects of marijuana legalization, the national opioid crisis and the prevalence of prescription drugs could have on impaired driving.
What We Learned:
- Proven tools to combat drunk driving, such as high-visibility law enforcement, will detect and stop drugged driving too.
- More research, more data and better testing are needed to fully understand the impact of marijuana legalization and
other drugs on traffic safety and the under 21 population.
- Alcohol is a drug that took years of research to understand and establish methods for measuring its impairing effects.
The same cannot be said for measuring impairment caused by other drugs, but that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of
MADD serves drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors every day. We want them to know that we are working hard to
stop these senseless and 100 percent preventable crimes. For more information about these free services, click here.
A critical step in this battle is understanding Americans’ attitudes and awareness toward marijuana, laws regulating its use and
the risks of consuming and driving. In February 2020, MADD commissioned IPSOS, a global leader in market research, to conduct
a nationwide study of adults 18 and older. These findings will guide us toward solutions that will honor those we could not
save and lead us to a nation of NO MORE VICTIMS®
Learn More About
Law Enforcement Efforts
Law enforcement officers are our heroes, are our best allies and our last line of defense in the effort to reduce drugged driving and to make our roadways safer.
Much like with drunk driving, the best way to deter and detect would-be drugged drivers is through the use of high-visibility
enforcement tactics. These include sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.
Because of the wide array of drugs and their varying levels of impairment, training is key to ridding our roadways of drugged
drivers. That’s why MADD supports the full implementation of specialized training programs to assist law enforcement
officers in detecting drugged drivers, including:
Drug Recognition Experts — The Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) program was created through a collaboration
between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of
Police (IACP). The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program was developed within the DEC Program to help officers
identify drug-impaired drivers. To become a DRE, officers must follow a rigorous three-phase training curriculum and
learn to conduct a standardized and systematic 12-step evaluation consisting of physical, mental and medical
components. Currently, there are 37 states plus the District of Columbia participating in the program with about 8,000
officers trained nationwide. Click here to find a DRE Coordinator in your state.
Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) — This program was established for agencies that lack the
funding to employ a full-time Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). It was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) to address the gap between the traditional Standard Field Sobriety Test training given to officers
to assist in detecting impaired drivers and The Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC)/DRE program. ARIDE is
intended to bridge the gap between these two programs by providing officers with general knowledge related to drug
impairment and by promoting the use of DREs in states that have the DEC Program. One of the more significant aspects of
ARIDE is its review and required student demonstration of the SFST proficiency requirements. MADD advocates that law
enforcement agencies train all enforcement personnel at the ARIDE level. The class requires 16 hours of classroom
training versus the three-phase curriculum required to become a certified DRE. There are currently more than 36,000
officers ARIDE certified. For more information on the ARIDE program, contact the International Association of Chiefs of
Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) remains the foundation of impaired driving detection and enforcement for
some 800,000 officers across the country. Some states, however, do not require SFST training for officers assigned to
patrol functions. MADD advocates that law enforcement agencies train all officers in SFST proficiency and retraining
should occur on a regular basis.
It’s more important than ever for MADD to be at the table to make sure that impaired driving does not increase as new laws go
into effect and public attitudes change. While research and evidence remain unclear about the impacts of drugged driving, we do
know that the same tools and strategies that stop drunk driving will stop drugged driving, too.
*According to MADD Cannabis Report: America’s Perception on Consumption and Road Risk.