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Drug Driving Up In California

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Sacramento, CA — A state survey finds 14 percent of drivers hitting the streets on the weekend test positive for drugs. It is a first-of-its-kind study done by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). They say even more frightening is the study found one out of every seven drivers on the roadways on Friday or Saturday nights are under the influence.

The OTS surveyed over 1,300 drivers who volunteered to take a breath or saliva test at roadside stops in nine California cities. OTS Spokesperson Chris Cochran says while the state numbers were consistent with national trends some of the survey results were surprising.

Cochran says, “We were glad the state numbers weren’t higher than the national average, but at the same time we were discouraged that there would be that big of a level at all. We were actually a little bit surprised that the use of alcohol was as low as it was at a little over seven percent, but we were discouraged to see that all of the other drugs together were 14 percent and more than half was just marijuana.”

Cochran warns motorists the survey found and increase in prescription and over the counter drug use while driving as well. He says 30 percent of the drivers killed in California crashes in 2010, the most recent figures available, were under the influence.

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