ATRI examines issue of marijuana-impaired driving

by Truck News

ARLINGTON, Va. – Training law enforcement and developing more drug recognition experts (DREs) are what’s needed to protect drivers from marijuana-impaired motorists, according to a report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).

The new study outlines issues and solutions related to marijuana-impaired driving.

“With more states legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana, professional truck drivers are more likely to be sharing the roadway with car drivers operating under the influence of marijuana,” ATRI said in a press release. The study recommends: increased data collection on the frequency and impacts of marijuana-impaired driving; public education and information about the risks of impaired driving; better equipping law enforcement and the court system to intercept and prosecute impaired drivers; and targeting tax revenue generating from marijuana sales to fund these activities.

“It is extremely concerning to motor carriers and our drivers that recreational marijuana is legal in so many states, yet as the ATRI report documents, a valid and widely accepted breathalyzer-type test is not available to law enforcement,” said Mike Card, Combined Transport president. “ATRI’s study clearly defines a role for federal and state leaders to support law enforcement and others in keeping the roadways safe from those who choose to drive high.”

“As ATRI’s research identifies, a key tool for combating drugged drivers is deploying additional drug recognition experts,” said Mark Savage, deputy chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “A DRE can bring critical evidence to prosecutors that other tests simply cannot measure.”

The study can be downloaded here.

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data


  • With the massive increase in drug lmpared drivers plus the already substantial alcohol impared the present system of enforcement will never be adequate.
    Highway gridlock plus many other roads has made adequate inforcement impossible.
    Already inforcement of speeding, stopping at stop signs, U turns, right turns on red lights & many other infringements are daily occurrence particularly after dark resulting in extreme danger to pedestrians as seen by the increase in fatalities & injuries.
    The only solution using technology available is electronic enforcement.
    Vehicle manufactures already have the ability to include devices to identify a driver & determine if handicapped by drugs or alcohol to prevent starting a vehicle. This could be followed by a system to activate & record on the vehicle computer also by photo radar other infringements.
    Access to this information possible for enforcement officers either while mobile or during a stationery check.
    Time to work with vehicle manufacturers for solutions they are capable of based on their other electronic solutions.
    Law breakers will complain it is a money maker for government but proceeds should go towards our health system.