According to a self-reported survey on drug use issued by the federal government in 1999, nine million people said they had driven a vehicle within two hours of consuming illegal drugs over a 12-month period. Marijuana was cited as the most abused drug, usually in combination with alcohol.
Many believe this survey vastly underestimated the number of people actually driving under the influence of drugs. But there are no national statistics on the number of accidents caused by people driving under the influence of drugs and not alcohol, or the number of people arrested for DUIDs. The reason for this may be due to an emphasis in traffic safety on drunken driving and, until recently, the technology needed to accurately measure drug use has not been widely available.
Only eight states (Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Utah) have passed laws in recent years that do not tolerate the presence of any forbidden substance* in the driver’s body. Eight more states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia) have zero tolerance laws that only apply to drivers under the age of 21 or to habitual drug offenders.
* As mentioned above, Illinois has a zero-tolerance law for driving with any amount of cannabis (marijuana), a controlled substance or an intoxicating compound (such as inhalants). This means the police officer does not have to meet a set standard for how much of the substance is in the driver's body, as in a DUI-Alcohol case. Simply having any amount of the illegal substance in your body while driving is enough to be charged in Illinois.
Annually, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs represents approximately 10% of all VHPD DUI arrests.