Drugs “Other than Alcohol”

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Transcript Drugs “Other than Alcohol”

Drugs “Other than Alcohol”
• Alcohol is responsible for 38% of traffic
deaths. Drugs other than alcohol account
for at least 18% of traffic deaths in the US.
• The dirty little secret.
• This is a guess, I believe a LOW
• And a ever INCREASING problem.
• It is NOT just the illegal drugs.
• Driving while drugged is DWI.
Drugs and Alcohol
• If you investigate the 18% that are drugs
other than alcohol, 96% of these “drug”
accidents, have alcohol is their system in
addition to the drug.
• 50% have a BAC of .10 or greater.
• Combining drugs and alcohol is almost
always synergistic. (later)
Enforcement issues
• A. Testing is a blood sample not a breathalyzer
creating many issues. Cost and withdrawing a
blood sample are just two.
B. There is not per se limit as with BAC. How
much of a drug is impaired? There is no simple
answer here.
C. There are thousands of drugs, legal and
illegal and interactions.
D. There are seizure laws, dealing laws, and all
kinds of laws complicating the whole issue with
drugs, both legal and illegal.
Alcohol is a simple issue
• .08 you are guilty.
• The breathalyzer is accepted by the courts
and police can administer it.
• The sentence structure is in place.
• Compared to “other drugs”, alcohol seems
Moving to drugs
• The number of alcohol related deaths and
the success in reducing alcohol related
accidents, could be in part, to a change in
impairment to drugs.
• Drugs are easier to hide, use and get
away with than is alcohol.
• If you add the 38% and the 18%, the is
56% of traffic deaths are impaired drivers.
• That is about the same as 1970.
We are a drug dependant society.
• Most people take some form of drug on a regular basis.
Look at your mom’s medicine cabinet. I am not just
talking about illegal drugs.
• There is a widespread belief that medicine/drugs can
solve any problems we might have. Your parents
generation are all on some form of drug every day.
• There is a widespread disregard of the law by many in
our society. Drink under age? Smoke a little dope?
Speed just a little? Run that yellow light? Throw that
trash is someone’s yard or out the window? See!
• No one thinks it will happen to them. Drug addiction, or
even death, happens to someone else.
The effects of one drug
• Therapeutic effects. This is the intended
effect of a drug.
• Side effects. These effects may be
unwanted, such as being drowsy from a
• Residual effects. This is the hangover the
next day. Or the withdrawal from caffeine.
Combining Drugs can cause
serious problems
• The additive effect is that you get both or all of the drug's effects.
1+1=2. This is usually intended.
• The antagonistic effect is where one drug cancels or counteracts
another. This might be deadly when taking drugs for high blood
pressure or diabetes and another drug stops them from working as
they are supposed to. 1+1=0.
• The synergistic effect is where the resulting interaction is greater
than the sum of the parts. 1+1=3. Barbiturates and alcohol for
example. These interactions can cause brain damage or
even death. All of these may cause serious impairment when
attempting to drive, and can result in a DWI charge.
Classes of Drugs
• A. Depressants. Alcohol, barbiturates,
tranquilizers, narcotics, codeine,
morphine and the volatile chemicals.
B. Stimulants. Amphetamines, cocaine.
C. Hallucinogens. LSD, PCB, STP as well
as marijuana.
• Yes, the medical community still lists
marijuana as an hallucinogen.
• The debate here in not new. Hashish has
been around for millenniums. Legalizing
marijuana in the US is a resent issue
• The issue of classification is simple, if
marijuana is classified as a depressant, it
has a chance of being legalized. If it
remains an hallucinogen, there is no way
legislatures are not going legalize
something that makes people hallucinate.
Dope, continued
• The talking point is usually:
• It is no worse than alcohol.
• Let me remind you, 13,000 deaths,
600,000 serious injuries, and $100s of
billions lost to drinking and driving each
• Do we need another alcohol on the
Drugs and DWI
• The problem with drugs, other than alcohol, is
proof of impairment.
• The officer has to prove impairment. Video tape
and blood tests, as well as the breathalyzer, help
in court to prove impairment.
• The one thing that works in favor of the officer, is
that most juries still look at drugs more harshly
than alcohol.
• But, it is still a DWI. Even if it is a lawfully
prescribed drug. Insurance and all.
• All drugs, legal and illegal, may have
serious effects on anyone's ability to drive.
Before operating a vehicle at 60 or 70
mph, make sure you, or the person you
are riding with, are fit to drive.
• Friends don’t let friends drive DWI.