Friday, February 3, 2012
Schumer Called Drugged-Driving “a hidden crisis on the roads”
As more and more people receive prescriptions for powerful pain narcotics like oxycodone, there are more drugged-drivers than ever which has become a major health concern. This is why a New York Senator is pushing for $140 million dollars for research into drugged-driving tests.
People arrested for driving on drugs has surged 35% statewide in the past decade, but the tests required to catch more of them are essential, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
“If people next year knew that they’d be tested for drugged driving just like they are tested for drunk driving, it might deter them from doing it to begin with and save lives,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters in midtown.
Schumer is sponsoring legislation that would bring $140 million in National Highway Transportation Safety Administration funding for research to create tests that police can use when conducting traffic stops where they suspect the driver of being high. Schumer believes that there should be a push to create saliva swab tests and even a breath test.
Unfortunately, there is currently no way for a police officer to test for drugs on the scene, suspected offenders need to be brought downtown and tested either at the station or a medical facility which can be taxing for everyone.
Some of the money would go towards training the police in recognizing signs of drivers’ drug use.
Again, prescription drug abuse has been on the rise across the country in the past decade, statewide arrests in New York for drugged-driving have increased 35%.