Implementation Plan for Combating the Drug-impaired Driver

Report No: 88-R20

Published in 1988

About the report:

Beginning on April 1, 1988, the Commonwealth of Virginia's revised drug-impaired driving statute went into effect. It defines the drug-impaired driver as one who is under the influence to a degree that impairs his or her ability to drive safely. The revision to the law also permits a police officer to request that a suspect submit to a blood test for drugs either before or after a blood .or breath test for alcohol has been administered. Although the result of the drug test will not establish that a suspect was under the influence of drugs, it will provide corroborating evidence to a police officer's evaluation of a suspect's impairment. In anticipation of the implementation of this law, a task force of local, state, and federal officials was called, together to facilitate its effective implementation. In particular, the task force was challenged to develop a strategy by which traffic safety would be enhanced through the revised statute. This implementation plan was developed by the Research Council for, and in-cooperation with, the task force. Enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, and treatment as well as public information and education are all addressed in the plan. The special emphasis that will be placed on enhanced sobriety-testing and a pilot drug recognition technician program are anticipated to uncover an effective way to detect the drug-impaired driver.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  •  Jack D. Jernigan

Last updated: December 29, 2023

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