Recommendations for Toxicological Investigation of Drug Impaired Driving

This article presents recommendations for the toxicological investigation used to determine drug impaired driving. The authors outline the key elements to the investigation of a suspected alcohol or drug impaired driving (DUID) case, including a trained officer documenting observations of driving and subject behavior, and collection of a biological specimen for comprehensive toxicology testing. They caution that there is at present no common standard of practice among forensic toxicology laboratories in the United States regarding which drugs should be tested for, and at what analytical cutoff. They report on a survey of United States laboratories actively involved in providing analytical support to the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program that identified marijuana, benzodiazepines, cocaine, prescription and illicit opiates, muscle relaxants, amphetamines, CNS depressants, and sleep aids used as hypnotics as the most frequently encountered drugs in these cases. The authors offer recommendations for the minimum testing of specific members of these drug classes in the investigation of suspected DUID cases. They also provide recommendations for analytical cutoffs for the screening and confirmation of drugs in blood and urine. They conclude that adopting these guidelines would result in the detection of the most common drugs would be detected, the standardization of epidemiological findings between jurisdictions, and more accurate national statistics on alcohol and drug use in drivers involved in fatal injury collisions. In addition, improved data may be more representative of the true rates of drug use in the driving population.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Farrell, Laurel J
    • Kerrigan, Sarah
    • Logan, Barry K
  • Publication Date: 2007-9


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01150417
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 9 2010 10:54AM