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To the editor:

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) criticized the recent Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report for saying that drugs were present more frequently than alcohol in fatally injured drivers for whom known test results were available. GHSA did not suggest that drugged driving is more dangerous than drunk driving, although some media outlets inferred that from the report. But arguing about which is more dangerous, drugs or alcohol is quite foolish. This isn't a contest to see which causes more fatal crashes. In fact, since so many drivers are impaired by both simultaneously, that can never be determined. Some of MADD's points are valid, because GHSA's report was based on data from a NHTSA report, and NHTSA's drug measurements are far less useful than alcohol measures. But NHTSA data have been used by many only because no other reliable drugged driving data are available. Colorado may change that with HB17-1315, awaiting approval by the Legislature. HB17-1315 will capture and report data on all DUI citations, using both laboratory tests and self-assessments to determine the cause of the DUI charge - alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

— Ed Wood

Morrison, Colo.


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