Official says Nebraska should address drugged drivers

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Colorado highway safety official says Nebraska should not wait for marijuana legalization before acting to keep drugged drivers off the roads.

The Lincoln Journal Star ( ) reports Glenn Davis, highway safety manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation, and others spoke Tuesday at a summit on drugged driving hosted by the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety and AAA.

“I think you’ve got to identify the gaps in the system - and then start to take those gaps on,” Davis said.

Davis said that like Nebraska, Colorado consolidates bans on driving while intoxicated and driving while drugged, making it difficult to distinguish between arrests. Colorado launched a series of TV spots against drugged driving last year, and people who rent cars in the state are warned that driving while drugged is illegal.

Phil Tegeler, executive director at The Bridge Behavioral Health, who spoke on a panel with state Attorney General Doug Peterson, said that there is no widely accepted cutoff for drugs similar to blood-alcohol limits. He said it’s difficult to have the discussion of keeping drivers who are drugged off of roads without an “objective anchor” to measure when a person is impaired.

Susan DeCourcy with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who also spoke at the summit, said more law enforcement agencies will begin to use saliva testing devices during the next five years.

Peterson said his office has spent extensive amounts of time looking into the effects of marijuana on young people.

“Those kids are going to do that and they’re going to get behind the wheel of a car,” he said. “I think it’s going to put a whole culture of young people at risk.”

Last modified onThursday, 10 December 2015 10:24

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