Drugs and Driving

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“Drugs and Driving,” Ensign, July 1974, 54

Drugs and Driving

“Alcohol and gasoline do not mix.” To that well-known slogan we can now add, “Drugs and drivers should not mix.”

Many drugs, both habit-forming “hard” drugs and more common antihistamines and tranquilizers, are considered detrimental to safe driving. They slow down reaction time, blur the senses, and cloud judgment.

Unfortunately, the use of drugs is becoming an increasing problem in automotive safety. Out of 10,436 routine drinking-driver investigations conducted in Santa Clara County, California, over a recent three-year period, 2,559 involved drugs. A total of 273 different drugs were encountered during the study.

The drug users were identified after police officers arrested them for driving under apparent intoxication. If a chemical analysis showed the individual had consumed insufficient alcohol to cause intoxication, an examination for drug usage was made.

The study indicated that many drivers arrested had used both alcohol and harmful drugs.

It then became apparent to the officers that drugs can be just as intoxicating and dangerous to drivers as alcohol.