Let’s Define the Objective: Preventing Drinking – or Traffic Fatalities?

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on December 27th, 2011

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, six years ago Mothers Against Drunk Driving changed their "Mission Statement" from one of preventing drunk driving to a dual goal: preventing drunk driving — and underage drinking (regardless of driving).  See, MADD Continues Shift Toward Prohibition.  Clearly, the focus is on alcohol rather than on preventing injuries or fatalities.  

Interestingly, MADD has been silent as the greater danger increasingly appears to no longer be from alcohol:  statistics now clearly point to distracted and drowsy driving as greater threats on the highways.  See, for example, Most Dangerous: Drunk, Drowsy or Distracted?

Now let’s add one more type of impaired driving to the scale: drugged driving….


Driving on Drugs Skyrockets, Drunk Driving Drops

Phoenix, AZ.  Dec. 21 –  East Valley DUI Task Force officers almost need to be chemists to keep up with the concoctions used by impaired drivers. Drug arrests are soaring while alcohol arrests are declining.

The job of nabbing impaired drivers is becoming far more complicated, with drivers under the influence of not only alcohol but prescription and illegal drugs, said Mesa police Sgt. Dave Meicke, a supervisor of this year’s crackdown.

He said drug arrests by one of the nation’s longest and largest DUI task forces have increased from 13 percent in 2002 to 59 percent this year.

Meicke attributes the change to steady progress on education about the hazards of driving under the influence, more officers trained to recognize drug impairment and more people abusing prescription and illegal drugs…


Perhaps MADD’s focus should be on preventing injuries and death on the highways — rather than on Prohibitionist attacks on the evils of alcohol.  
 

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