The Tennessean ran a story recently on drugged driving in Tennessee.Here are some take away facts from the story;

  • The Tennessee District Attorneys Conference will ask state lawmakers to strengthen DUI laws to make it easier to convict drugged drivers.
  • Prescription drugs have grown to the second most abused drug in the country after marijuana according to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  • A 2007 study by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA) reports that 3.9 % of weekend drivers tested positive for medications such as Loratab,Hydrocodone,Soma,Xanax,and Valium.
  • One proposal being pushed is allowing officers to take a check swab drug test at roadside.
  • Secondly , there may be an effort to take away the right of citizens to refuse a blood or breath test.

Also , the article states the need for more drug recognition experts. However , it appears that science is not been studied in depth.The same folks that did the NHSTA field sobriety studies also studied Drug Recognition Expert  (DRE)  procedures also performed a study on DRE . It appears that DRE is not the magic bullet to detect the presence of drugs .

More troubling is the move in to lawmaking by the Tennessee District Attorneys Conference. It appears they will be actively lobbying the Tennessee State legislature this coming session. It appears they have moved their focus to make convictions easier.It appears it is another attack on a citizens right not to be compelled to give evidence against one selves and a move for a zero tolerance of alcohol and drugs on the road. Nashville criminal lawyer David Brandon commented  that these proposed laws may encourage police officers to abuse their powers against drivers using their medications legitimately.

Who’s at the root at the problem. Doctors that over prescribe and pain management clinics that write a prescription to anyone with no consequences from the law.