Drugs, driving and the law: A prospective review

Journal Article

A brief survey is presented of the effects of drugs on driving skills. The conclusion of this paper is that the present state of physiological and analytical science is not yet sufficiently advanced to permit an intelligent formulation of any new drug-driving laws which would punish abusers but not legal drug users under conditions where their performance would not be expected to be significantly impaired. The technological competence is available, albeit very expensive and unsuited for routine use. The physiological testing results are still in a poorly defined state, particularly when the added constraint of relating blood concentrations to performance are considered. Keeping the drugged driver off the road is the major goal. Whether future legislation will or can do that is another question. The authors' experience with alcohol leads them to believe that it will not. In the meantime, a full-scale campaign on the part of physicians and pharmacists to warn patients of the dangers of driving while using drugs is essential.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schwartz, RD; Cohn, VH; Abramson, FP

Published Date

  • 1977

Published In

  • Contemporary Drug Problems

Volume / Issue

  • 6 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 283 - 306