Pubdate: Mon, 02 Feb 2004
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Page: A6
Copyright: 2004 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Jim Allard


A recent editorial applauded the new drugged driving law because it 
allegedly brings the state's position on drugged driving in line with drunk 
driving. This couldn't be further from the truth. Whereas, drunk driving 
laws target impaired drivers (hence the word "drunk") , the new drugged 
driving law targets drug use.

For example, it is perfectly legal to drive with alcohol in ones' system, 
provided the amount is not enough to significantly impair driving ability. 
The new drug law declares that if a driver has any amount of illicit drugs 
in their system they are considered impaired. This is simply a false 
assumption. Detecting a small amount of an illicit drug in a driver's 
system means the driver has used that drug. It does not mean the drug, in 
any way, caused the driver to be significantly impaired. Thus, the law, in 
fact, targets drug use, not drugged (i.e. impaired) driving.

It's time to start acknowledging that people can, and do, use drugs 
responsibly. Our laws should reflect this by distinguishing between drug 
use and drug abuse.

- -- Jim Allard, Madison
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