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NHTSA summit to address dangers of drugged driving

Residents of West Virginia are probably aware that with the legalization of marijuana in many jurisdictions, and with the nation's current opioid crisis, there is a greater risk for accidents due to drugged driving. Among U.S. workers, urine tests have detected an increase in amphetamine, marijuana, and heroin annually for the past five years.

To address the growing dangers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has scheduled a summit for March 15 that will bring together key stakeholders from across the nation for dialogue. These include law enforcement and criminal justice experts, state and local officials, and toxicologists. The goal is to develop solutions for reducing accidents and fatalities resulting from driving under the influence of drugs.

Some possible measures will be aimed at raising the public's awareness of the problem. Others will be aimed at creating consistent rules for tracking and collecting data on DUIDs. There's also a need for guidelines on the testing and measuring of drug impairment levels as well as for better enforcement of existing DUID laws.

Getting behind the wheel of a car when impaired by drugs is a form of negligent driving, just as is the case with driving under the influence of alcohol, texting or talking on a cellphone, or driving over the speed limit or too fast for weather conditions. If such behavior causes an accident, the at-fault driver's passengers as well as occupants of other vehicles could be seriously injured. The victims might want to obtain the help of a personal injury attorney when attempting to be compensated for their losses.

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