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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:00 am

MADD: Drunk driving still deadliest

Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants you to know that drunk driving is still the greatest cause of traffic deaths and injuries in the nation.

The organization issued a news release last week to address news reports suggesting drugged driving had overtaken drunk driving as the leading cause of crashes.

The confusion comes from a Governors Highway Safety Association report showing that 43 percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes tested positive for drugs, compared with 37 percent in alcohol-involved crashes.

But statistics for drunk-driving fatalities don't include cases where any presence of alcohol is considered, while the drugged driving figures include any presence of drugs – even over-the-counter medications that don't cause impairment.

MADD notes that the comparison is not valid, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates alcohol deaths through blood-alcohol concentration tests and through statistical models.

The models estimate BACs for drivers without test results. But there is no comparable measure establishing impairment by drugs.

“We still know that alcohol is a drug and is the leading killer on the highway,” said MADD President Colleen-Sheehey-Church.

“Drugged driving is an important issue, but we want to remind everyone that drunk driving is far from solved.”