Bill Proposes "Zero Tolerance" Policy for Drugged Driving

Published On : 2/20/2013 9:57 AM
By : Ben Adler
From : CCN
Categories : Local, State
Ben Adler

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A California lawmaker wants to create a “zero tolerance” law for driving under the influence of drugs.

Californians would face a “zero tolerance” policy for drugged driving under a proposal at the State Capitol. But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, critics say the bill could have some unintended consequences.

California’s “driving under the influence” laws cover both alcohol and drugs. But unlike the point-zero-eight percent (0.08%) drunk driving limit, there’s no such threshold for drugged driving. This bill would make that threshold zero. Law enforcement groups back the measure. Scott Seamen (SEE-men) is with the California Police Chiefs Association.

“It is very difficult for law enforcement and for prosecutors to understand why we don’t have the same view around the impacts of drugged driving.”

The bill makes exceptions for drugs used with valid prescriptions. But medical marijuana advocate Lanette Davies says medicinal pot users wouldn’t be covered by those exceptions – nor would drivers taking over-the-counter cold or allergy medications.

“Let’s say you’re in an accident, you’ve got Claritin that says non-drowsy on it. You are going to be held permanently responsible because you have that medication in your blood system.”

Seventeen other states have similar “zero tolerance” policies.

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