Alcohol and Other Drug-Impaired Driving
According to NHTSA, 13,384 people were killed in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes in 2021, a 14% increase from 2020. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities made up 31% of all traffic fatalities in 2021. All vehicle types experienced a rise in the number of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal traffic crashes; however, SUVs saw the highest increase—27%—from 2020 to 2021.
With the increase in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2021, impaired driving remains a major traffic safety and public health issue for states. NHTSA’s data show that in 2021, an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 39 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-involved crashes accounted for $69 billion or 20% of all economic costs such as medical expenses or property damage in 2019, according to NHTSA. About 84% of these occurring in crashes where the highest BAC was ≥.08 , resulting in $58 billion in costs.
Additionally, NHTSA’s analysis of state percentages of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities among total traffic fatalities ranged from a low of 20% in Mississippi to a high of 44% in Montana in 2021, compared to the national average of 31%.
Driving under the influence of drugs and polysubstance-impaired driving—driving after using a mix of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol—also contributes to the steadily increasing number of impaired driving crashes. NHTSA found that drug use among fatally injured drivers who were tested rose from 25% in 2007 to 42% in 2016, and marijuana presence doubled in this time frame. While the use of drugs does not necessarily indicate impairment, the agency’s research shows that drugs can impact cognitive and psychomotor tasks associated with driving.
While these studies provide a good picture of impaired-driving in the United States in recent years, the prevalence of drugs in drivers tested increased during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
NHTSA collected data in trauma centers to examine the prevalence of alcohol and other drugs in the blood of seriously or fatally injured drivers and other crash victims. Most samples were collected between September 2019 and January 2020, before the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, the final samples were collected on July 31, 2021, during the emergency period. While drug prevalence was high among seriously and fatally injured roadway users before, the results indicate it increased during the public health emergency, especially for alcohol, marijuana and opioids. Almost 56% of injured or killed roadway users tested positive for at least one drug (including alcohol) and 19.9% tested positive for two or more categories of drugs, compared to 50.8% and 17.6% before the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also found that 25.1% of drivers tested positive for cannabis followed by 23.1% for alcohol, 10.8% for stimulants and 9.3% for opioids.
To better understand the crash risk associated with different drug categories and their prevalence among drivers, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examined toxicological data from five populations of drivers, including drivers arrested for impaired driving and fatally injured drivers, gathered by four laboratories. Each laboratory collected the data during different periods, ranging from 2015 to 2021. Their analysis yielded that between 71% and 99% of drivers tested positive for one or more potentially impairing drugs. Additionally, approximately 50% of drivers tested positive for multiple drug categories.
NTSB also found that alcohol was the most detected drug category followed by cannabis. However, cannabis was often detected in combination with alcohol or other drugs rather than alone. For example, analysis of one of the larger sample sizes from the Orange County Crime Laboratory shows that 89% of drivers tested positive for alcohol and/or cannabis and 11% tested positive for other substances. Of those who tested positive for cannabis and/or alcohol, 56% tested positive for alcohol only, while 21% tested positive for alcohol and cannabis. Only 12% of drivers tested positive for just cannabis. The remaining 11% tested positive for substances other than alcohol or cannabis. While alcohol remains the primary drug for endangering traffic safety, the use of cannabis and other potentially impairing drugs also contribute significantly to the problem of impaired driving crashes.
NTSB provides several recommendations such as requiring cannabis products to have a warning label about impaired driving and enhancing state drug-impaired driving laws. Researchers also recommend the widespread adoption of standardized drug testing and reporting to improve our understanding of drug impairment trends and use, impaired driving countermeasures and treatment options for offenders.
To gain insight into public opinions and behaviors regarding traffic safety, AAA publishes an annual Traffic Safety Culture Index which surveys drivers on their perception of traffic safety issues. The 2021 index reveals that 94% of drivers perceive driving after drinking as very dangerous or extremely dangerous. Among surveyed participants, 7% admitted to driving after consuming enough alcohol in the previous 30 days that they believed they might be over the legal limit. Over 50% of respondents support lowering the legal BAC limit from .08% to .05% whereas 71% of drivers supported lowering such the BAC limit for people transporting young children.
AAA’s index reveals a significant disparity between perceptions of alcohol use and marijuana use before driving as only 65% of respondents consider driving shortly after using marijuana to be very or extremely dangerous. The index also found 79% of survey participants support making it illegal to drive with a certain amount of marijuana in a person’s system. Most (86%) respondents believe driving after using potentially impairing prescription drugs is very or extremely dangerous. Nearly three in four respondents support making it illegal to drive with any drug that’s not legally prescribed in an individual’s system.
The federal government, states and traffic safety organizations are continually examining and implementing interventions and new technologies to combat alcohol-impaired driving.
NHTSA developed a Drug-Impaired Driving Criminal Justice Evaluation Tool for state, local and territorial and tribal governments to self-assess readiness to implement certain programs or policies aimed to reduce impaired driving. The tool can identify gaps in drug-impaired driving programs, inform strategies to strengthen such programs and track development progress over time.
Maryland became the second state in 2019, after Virginia in 2018, to pilot the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program. This program, a public-private partnership research project between the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety and NHTSA, aims to develop a non-invasive, seamless technology that would use small programmable sensors built inside vehicle panels to measure the BAC in a driver’s breath. Drivers whose BAC is above the set limit would be unable to move the vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a study in 2020 suggesting that the technology has the potential to save more than 9,000 lives when added to all new vehicles.
The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), enacted in November 2021, directs the U.S. Transportation Department to set an alcohol detection technology safety standard within three years, and give automakers at least two additional years to install the technology in all new vehicles. The bill does not specify any details about the technology or its implementation but says it must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired” and “prevent or limit motor vehicle operation if an impairment is detected.” NHTSA’s IIJA webpage provides more information on other impaired driving provisions within the IIJA.
The Utah legislature became the first and only state to lower its impaired driving per se BAC limit, in 2018, from the national standard of .08% to .05%. NHTSA’s evaluation of Utah’s law reveals that Utah’s fatal crash rate (the number of crashes resulting in someone’s death) dropped by 19.8% and the fatality rate (the number of people killed in crashes) decreased by 18.3% between 2016 and 2019. 2016 was the last full year before lawmakers approved lowering the BAC limit. Comparatively, the rest of the United States showed a 5.6% fatal crash rate reduction and 5.9% fatality rate reduction. Utah’s neighboring states—Arizona, Colorado and Nevada—did not show similar levels of improvement in fatal crash and fatality rates.
Despite a more stringent BAC standard, NHTSA reports that alcohol-impaired driving arrests did not increase markedly after the law went into effect, as some had feared. Additionally, NHTSA’s analysis reveals that in 2019, more than 22% of alcohol consumers indicated they had changed their behaviors such as ensuring a sober ride was available once the law went into effect.
NCSL’s Drunken Driving and Drugged Driving/Marijuana-Impaired Driving webpages provide a detailed and up-to-date overview on state interventions to reduce and prevent all forms of impaired driving.
Lawmakers in 45 states considered over 512 bills related to alcohol and drug-impaired driving in 2022. Approximately 95 bills were enacted by 33 states. Laws addressed ignition interlock devices and restricted driving privileges, implied consent and testing, drugged driving and penalties, among other topics.
Ignition Interlock Devices and Restricted Driving Privileges
Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) are connected to the starter or other on-board computer system in a motor vehicle to prevent the car from being operated if a set level of alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. Most devices require random retesting while the car is running to ensure that the driver is not drinking once the car is started. Courts often require the use of IIDs for drivers convicted of a DUI. During sentencing, an offender whose driver’s license has been suspended or revoked can be granted limited driving privileges if an IID is installed in the vehicle(s) they use.
NHTSA data shows that IIDs reduce recidivism among first-time and repeat offenders, including high-risk offenders. However, once IIDs were removed from a repeat or high-risk offender’s vehicle, the offender’s recidivism rates increased. Offenders with higher rates of failed BAC tests were also found to have higher rates of recidivism once their IID was removed. In contrast, a CDC study of a Florida policy mandating alcohol treatment for DUI offenders using interlocks did find decreased recidivism. Offenders who accumulated three interlock violations—defined as two occasions within four hours in which the device prevented the driver from starting the vehicle—were required to participate in alcohol use disorder treatment. Recidivism among such offenders was reduced by 32% after the device was removed, compared to the control group that did not receive treatment.
Since 2011, all 50 states have passed legislation that allows or requires the use of IIDs for certain drunk driving offenses—from drivers who refuse to submit an impaired driving chemical test to first-time, repeat and/or high BAC offenders. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring all offenders, including first-time offenders, to install an IID.
Laws in some states provide for restricted driver’s licenses for DUI offenders in addition to or alternative to an IID, or as a substitute to having the license suspended. People with a restricted license are limited on where and when they can drive, but do not have to install an IID.
At least seven states—Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee—enacted legislation regarding ignition interlock devices and restricted, suspended or revoked driving privileges in 2022. Kansas and Tennessee’s legislation include provisions that address IID program costs.
Arizona (SB 1334) enacted legislation to offer offenders who are subject to a driver’s license suspension due to a DUI test refusal the option to apply for a special ignition interlock restricted driver license (SIIRDL) after completing any ordered alcohol or drug screening, before serving 90 days of the suspension period. Additionally, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) must issue an SIIRDL upon request to an offender who did not cause death of serious injury during the offense, has not been convicted of certain DUI offenses within the previous 84 months and provides evidence of completion of alcohol and other drug screening ordered by the department. The time that an offender used an IID after DUI conviction must be subtracted from the total time ADOT requires them to use an IID. An SIIRDL does not reduce or eliminate the required use of an IID.
The bill also specifies that an individual may apply for an SIIRDL if the person’s BAC was more than .08% or if the offense involved alcohol or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Previously, these provisions provided only for alcohol related offenses.
Finally, the bill increases the license suspension period from 15 to 30 days for a DUI test refusal. Individuals can receive a temporary driving permit for 30 days, rather than the previously established 15, if they surrender a valid driver’s license following such a refusal.
Colorado (SB 55) passed legislation to permit an individual whose license has been revoked for one year or more because of a DUI or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) related conviction, or for nine months for a first offense, to immediately apply for an ignition interlock-restricted license. Under previous law, such offenders had to wait until their license was revoked for one month before applying for reinstatement.
Hawaii (SB 3165) adjusted the driver’s license revocation period for first-time DUI offenders or offenders who refuse to install an ignition interlock device from one year to between one year and 18 months. An offender can apply to terminate the revocation period early if they install an IID in all vehicles they operate for six months, after which they maintain an IID in such vehicles for three months without a violation like providing a breath sample of .04 or more grams of alcohol when starting the vehicle. The bill also expands the definition of circumventing or tampering with a device to include obscuring the attached camera lens or failing to provide a picture of the driver. Additionally, the bill extends the lookback period for two or more DUI offenses from five to 10 years.
Kansas (HB 2377) removed the period required for DUI offenders to wait before applying for a restricted license with an IID. Previously, offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater had to wait 45 days for reinstatement or 90 days if they refused an impairment test. The new law also allows offenders who finish the applicable IID period and IID program to apply for license reinstatement. Individuals cannot have more than two standard violations such as a test failure in the 90 days prior to the application for reinstatement to complete the program. The Division of Vehicles must approve the application for reinstatement if the offender has not committed a subsequent impaired driving offense during the IID installation period and has not been convicted of an IID circumvention offense. The law created an indigency program for IIDs which has an income-based sliding scale for offenders who may need financial assistance.
Lastly, the bill reduces the required IID restriction period from 330 to 180 days for first-time DUI offenders under 21 who produce a BAC between .02 and .08.
New Hampshire (HB 1085) enacted legislation to clarify that IIDs must be installed in any vehicle registered to or used by a DUI offender subject to an IID order. Previously, offenders did not have to install an IID in a vehicle they operated if it wasn’t on a “regular basis.” New Hampshire (HB 1246) also passed legislation to provide that a DUI offender with an IID order must install a device in any commercial vehicle they operate.
Oklahoma (SB 366) established that the first license revocation for a DUI offense, within 10 years preceding the date of arrest, will remain in effect until the offender completes the Impaired Driver Accountability Program (IADP), which requires program participants to install an IID. A second and third revocation within 10 years must remain in effect for at least a year and two years, respectively, until the offender completes the IDAP. Previously, the third license revocation was in place for at least three years. The bill also transfers the IADP from the Department of Public Safety to the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence, which is housed within the Public Safety and Corrections Agency. The board must establish rules for the IADP which address IID violations, criteria to determine program participation, IID medical exemptions, employer exceptions to IID requirements and affordability accommodations for offenders on public assistance programs.
South Dakota (HB 1108) added childcare delivery or pickup to the list of permissible activities for DUI offenders who hold a restricted driver’s license. Such offenders can also operate a vehicle for the purposes of employment, 24/7 sobriety testing, attendance at school or counseling programs.
Tennessee (SB 887) created the electronic monitoring indigency fund task force to examine components of the existing fund and make recommendations on the future of the fund. The fund includes an account that covers the associated costs of ignition interlock devices for individuals experiencing financial hardship. The task force must have nine members, including the chair of the house criminal justice committee, the chair of the senate judiciary committee and the state treasurer or their designee. The task force submitted their recommendations to the governor and speakers of the house and senate by Sept. 30, 2022.
Tennessee (HB 1188/SB 882) also enacted legislation to provide that the use of an IID is a mandatory condition of bail for a DUI offender or offender of other crimes such as vehicular assault. The new requirements apply to an offense where a minor was present in the vehicle, the offender’s driver’s license has previously been suspended for a test refusal, the collision resulted in property damage or the offender has a prior DUI conviction or charge for a related vehicular crime. If the court determines the offender needs financial assistance to install and maintain the IID, costs must be paid by the electronic monitoring indigency fund. The court can deny an offender an IID as a condition of bail if it determines that the option would not be in the best interest of public safety.
Tennessee (HB 2184/SB 2434) passed legislation to provide that DUI offenders who violate the implied consent law cannot receive a restricted driver’s license unless they install an IID. The bill also removes the requirement for repeat DUI offenders with a subsequent violation within 10 years to maintain an IID for six months after the conclusion of their license revocation period. Such offenders can apply for reissuance of their driver’s license once the IID period has been completed. The bill also provides that when an offender applies for driver’s license reinstatement and shows proof of IID installation, a one-year IID usage requirement commences on the date that the license is reinstated. If an offender fails to comply with maintenance requirements of the IID or tampers with the device, it must be reinstalled, and the yearlong usage period starts again from the date of installation.
Additionally, the bill clarifies that provisions in state statute or a court order can be used to prohibit an offender from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an IID. If an offender violates such operating requirements, they must complete an additional IID usage period of one year, regardless of whether the offender has already completed an IID usage period for the underlying offense.
Finally, the bill allows an offender transporting themselves or an immediate family member to and from medical treatment to the list of limited purposes for which a court can permit a person to operate a motor vehicle with a restricted driver’s license.
Implied Consent and Testing
All driver’s license applicants agree to comply with requests by law enforcement officers to take breath, urine or blood samples to determine impairment when they sign their driver’s license application forms. A breath test can be administered roadside or at any location; urine and blood testing can only be performed at a medical or detention facility. These laws, called implied consent laws, are based on the premise that driving is a privilege and not a right. Every state has some sort of implied consent law, but the penalties vary for offenders who refuse to submit to a test. Kentucky amended its law related to test refusal and three states--Colorado, Maryland and Tennessee—enacted legislation regarding impairment testing in 2022.
Kentucky (HB 154) enacted emergency legislation to allow law enforcement officers to obtain search warrants when an individual charged with a DUI refuses to take a blood, breath or urine test. Previously, search warrants could only be issued when a fatality or physical injury occurred in connection with a DUI case. Additionally, an individual must be detained in custody for at least four hours after their arrest if their breath test, rather than previously established required blood test, reveals a BAC of .15 or more.
The bill also clarifies that the court can suspend an individual’s driver’s license if they refuse a blood, breath or urine test to identify impairment. The courts can also impound the license plate or plates from all motor vehicles owned by a DUI offender. However, the new law provides that if an offender does not surrender their plate(s) at their sentencing or within 45 days after their sentencing hearing, the court may permit the sheriff or any other law enforcement officer to seize their license plate(s).
Colorado (HB 1321) passed legislation to require the Colorado Department of Transportation to study and report on the viability of devices that can assess cognitive and physical impairment of motorists by detecting the presence of drugs during roadside sobriety investigations. The report must also include legislative recommendations regarding a pilot program to further analyze the devices. The Department must share the findings with the General Assembly and the Colorado Task Force on Drunk and Impaired Driving by June 1, 2023.
Maryland (SB 216) transferred approval and oversight authority relating to breath and blood alcohol and drug tests required during a DUI investigation from the state toxicologist under the Postmortem Examiners Commission to the toxicologist in the Department of State Police’s (DSP), Forensic Services Division. According to the Maryland Department of Health, the state toxicologist’s responsibilities related to such testing are a burden as their unit is mostly focused on postmortem investigations. DSP’s toxicology program’s mission is more closely related with impairment testing for DUI-related cases as it already includes both blood and breath testing for alcohol and drugs.
Tennessee (SB 399) enacted legislation to require each law enforcement officer assigned to a traffic division or chosen by a county sheriff or chief of police, to undergo training by a law enforcement instructor on the proper testing procedures like standardized field sobriety testing, in cases of driving under the influence. Any such training completed on or after Jan. 1, 2023, must be completed as part of the annual in-service training required to maintain law enforcement certification by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission of Tennessee.
Six states—Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi and Washington—enacted legislation regarding drug-impaired driving in 2022.
Hawaii (HB 2337) clarified its definitions of substance abuse, substance and drug for the purposes of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. The bill provides that “substance abuse” means the misuse of alcohol or specific drugs to any extent deemed unsafe to the user or society, whereas “substance” refers to materials such as cannabis, inhalants or hallucinogens. “Drug” refers to any controlled substance or its metabolites or any substance that can impair the ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Louisiana (HB 234) toughened its impaired driving law by prohibiting the operator or any passengers in a motor vehicle from smoking or vaping any form of marijuana while the vehicle is operated on a public highway or right-of-way. Offenders are subject to a fine of $100 and a nonmoving violation, which cannot be included on the driver’s operating record. The new prohibition is a secondary law, which means that law enforcement officers cannot pull over a vehicle solely for this offense.
Maryland (HB 837) renamed “marijuana” as “cannabis” in its state statues. The bill also proposed a constitutional amendment to authorize individuals 21 or older to use or possess cannabis beginning July 1, 2023, if approved by voters in the November 2022 election; Maryland voters approved to legalize recreational cannabis on Nov. 8, 2022. The bill provides that a passenger or driver cannot smoke or consume cannabis in a motor vehicle that is driven, stopped, standing or located on a highway. Passengers who violate this law are subject to a civil offense and maximum fine of $25 whereas drivers face a misdemeanor and fine up to $500. Previously, these provisions only applied to consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway.
The new law also requires the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) to complete a comprehensive study of cannabis use in the state that includes arrests, crashes and fatalities related to cannabis-impaired driving. The MMCC must submit their findings to the governor and several committees of the legislature by March 1, 2023 and a follow up report by March 25, 2025, and every year after.
Mississippi (SB 2095) enacted legislation to allow for medical use of cannabis products, and the bill provides that the state’s DUI laws apply to individuals who operate a vehicle or watercraft under the influence of medical cannabis.
Ohio (SB 288) expanded the list of “drugs of abuse” in its operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) law to include harmful intoxicants that can be inhaled like gas or cleaning fluid. Previously, controlled drugs or an impairing quantity of prescriptions drugs fell under the scope of “drugs of abuse,” among other substances. The bill also prohibits commercial driver’s license holders from operating a vehicle under the influence from a harmful intoxicant.
Washington (HB 1210) replaced the term “marijuana” with “cannabis” in the state’s impaired driving laws as well as other drug and public health related provisions.
Five states—Hawaii, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Utah—created new or enhanced penalties for DUI or driving under the influence of drug offenses.
Colorado (SB 55), referenced in the ignition interlock devices and restricted driving privileges section, required offenders sentenced to probation for a felony or third or subsequent DUI or DWAI sentence to participate in continuous alcohol monitoring for at least 90 days. This provision previously applied only to offenders guilty of a second or subsequent DUI or DWAI charge.
Hawaii (SB 2163) changed the penalty of negligent homicide in the first degree from a class B felony to class A felony for DUI offenders who have committed one or more subsequent DUI offenses within a 15-year lookback period. Drivers who operate a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license or with a BAC of .15 or higher, are also subject to the penalty change.
Louisiana (SB 337) added the offense of committing a third or subsequent violation of operating a vehicle while intoxicated to its list of violations that require offenders to be imprisoned between 90 days and one year. Previously, qualifying offenders were subject to at least 60 days but no more than six months of jail time.
Ohio (SB 288), referenced in the drugged driving section, reduced the penalty for OVI offenders under 21 years old from six months of imprisonment to 60 days and the fine from $1000 to $500.
Pennsylvania (HB 773) enacted legislation, also known as Deana’s law in honor of DUI homicide victim Deana DeRosa, that increased penalties for individuals convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense. Such offenders are guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable by at least one year of imprisonment with a maximum sentence of 10 years. Previously, the law only specified that individuals with two or more offenses were guilty of a felony of the third degree, with a mandatory minimum of one year of imprisonment with a maximum sentence of seven years. Both offenses result in an 18-month license suspension.
The law also mandates that DUI offenders must serve an imprisonment sentence consecutively to any other sentence, whether or not it’s DUI related, if they have two or more prior DUI offenses. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission must develop a sentencing enhancement for offenders who refuse chemical testing and have four or more prior DUI offenses.
Tennessee (HB 2270/SB 2736) toughened its DUI law to specify that a prior conviction of boating under the influence within a 10-year lookback period must be treated the same as a previous DUI conviction when determining punishment for the offense. The law is also known as Nicholas’ Law, after a child who was killed in a DUI-related crash.
Tennessee (HB 1834) also became the first state to require offenders convicted of vehicular homicide due to intoxication, or aggravated vehicular homicide, involving the death of a parent, to pay child support for each child until they are 18 and have graduated high school or until the class of which the child is a member when turning 18 has graduated. The law, also known as “Ethan’s, Hailey’s and Bentley’s Law,” all children of victims killed in impaired driving crashes, requires the court to determine a reasonable amount of child support by considering the financial needs of the surviving parent or guardian and child as well as the child’s standard of living.
Utah (HB 137) amended its testing law to clarify that breath alcohol level qualifies as admissible evidence for an extreme DUI, which includes high BAC (.16) offenses, offenders with a .05 BAC plus any measurable controlled substance or individuals who test positive for two or more substances that were not prescribed for medical reasons. Previously, the law only provided that blood alcohol level could be used in such cases. The bill sponsor, Representative Steve Eliason shared that this new addition ensures that offenders qualify for an extreme DUI if they only provided a breath rather than blood test. The bill also provides that individuals who refuse a chemical test for impairment and meet other criteria such as prior DUI offenses, are subject to a class A misdemeanor. Other penalties for test refusal include a class B misdemeanor and third-degree felony.
Utah (HB 143) also revised its DUI law by elevating a second offense from a class B to class A misdemeanor. According to Representative Nelson, the bill sponsor, a class A misdemeanor allows judges to offer a broader range of sentencing options, including treatment for substance use, which may reduce DUI recidivism.
Arizona (HB 2583) established the “Driving Under the Influence Data Collection Study Committee” to examine and gather information on the state’s processes for DUI related data collection among the various law enforcement agencies, crime labs, prosecutorial offices and courts. Committee membership includes the Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Director of the Department of Public Safety or their designee and one member of the House of Representatives and Senate, among other members. The committee must submit a report regarding their recommendations to centralize DUI-related data collection to the governor, president of the senate and speaker of the house of representatives by Dec. 16, 2022. The committee is repealed on Sept. 30, 2023.
California (AB 2198) replaced the term “accident” with “crash” for collisions involving alcohol and/or drug impaired driving. Assemblymember Mike Fong, the bill sponsor, shared that the change is necessary because driving impaired or distracted is not an accident, but a choice, and lives are put at risk. The bill also removed provisions of the Youth Drunk Driver Visitation Program that allowed courts to require defendants to visit a facility that cares for advanced alcoholics to observe patients in the terminal states of alcoholism or drug abuse.