Saturday, July 24, 2010
The story is in the New York Times:
The issue is vexing police officials because, unlike with alcohol, there is no agreement on what level of drugs in the blood impairs driving.
The behavioral effects of prescription medication vary widely, depending not just on the drug but on the person taking it. Some, like anti-anxiety drugs, can dull alertness and slow reaction time; others, like stimulants, can encourage risk-taking and hurt the ability to judge distances. Mixing prescriptions, or taking them with alcohol or illicit drugs, can exacerbate impairment and sharply increase the risk of crashing, researchers say.
“In the past it was cocaine, it was PCP, it was marijuana,” said Chuck Hayes of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “Now we’re into this prescription drug era that is giving us a whole new challenge.”