Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

More Californians driving high than drunk on weekends, study says

An Orange County Sheriff deputy checks a motorist's identification at an Orange County DUI checkpoint in Westminster in 2001. Credit: Allen Schaben / Los Angeles Times

California officials are warning against "drugged driving" after a statewide survey found drugs that can affect driving in one of every seven weekend nighttime motorists -- nearly twice the number of those with alcohol in their system.

The survey results, announced Monday by the California Office of Traffic Safety, found that 14% of drivers surveyed tested positive for driving under the influence of impairing drugs -- both illegal and prescription -- while 7.3% of drivers tested positive for driving with alcohol in their system.

“These results reinforce our belief that driving after consuming potentially impairing drugs is a serious and growing problem,” Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety, said in a statement.  

The impaired driving survey included more than 1,300 drivers who voluntarily provided breath and/or saliva samples at roadside locations set up in nine California cities between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night. 

Samples were tested for alcohol, THC, major illegal drugs as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications that may adversely affect driving. 

Of the drugs found in the system of surveyed drivers, marijuana was most prevalent, with 7.4% of drivers having it in their system. 

“Drugged driving poses a serious threat to public safety,” Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with California and other states to raise awareness about this important issue and continue to take action to make our roadways safer.”


Death toll rises to 3 in Long Beach truck crash

San Francisco considers public nudity ban -- with exceptions

One man injured during clash at pro-Israel rally in Westwood

-- Wesley Lowery

Follow Wesley Lowery on Twitter and Google+.

Photo: An Orange County sheriff's deputy checks a motorist's identification at a sobriety checkpoint in Westminster in 2001. Credit:  Allen Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (0)


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: