Preventing Impaired Driving

What Is Impaired Driving?

Impaired driving means that a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by alcohol or other drugs that change the function of the brain and body.

Over 10,000 people in the United States die each year in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Truckers in the United States had the highest frequency of positive tests for alcohol in the  world, at 12.5 percent of American-based drivers.

The American Addiction Centers report that the “overall use of mind-altering substance was high,” among truckers as well. This includes amphetamines and cocaine, which stimulate drivers into staying awake for unnaturally long periods of time.

CDL drivers may be subject to testing to ensure that they are not driving impaired. This Overview of Drug and Alcohol Rules was put out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).



The CDC estimates that 29 people in the United States die in alcohol related motor vehicle crashes each day. That is one death every 50 minutes. This adds up to a cost of more than $44 billion in losses per year.

The United States Congress recognized the need for a drug and alcohol free transportation industry, and in 1991 passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, requiring DOT agencies to implement drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees.

Here are some resources from the CDC that may be useful:

Sobering Facts: Alcohol-Impaired Driving (CDC)



In 2015, Maryland’s ignition interlock program prevented nearly 4,000 trips where the driver’s BAC was greater than 0.08, which is the legal limit in Maryland.

All states have implemented ignition interlock programs to manage interlock issues and monitor offenders who are required or eligible to install them. The MVA answers frequently asked questions about this program.

Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program, which began in 1989, is monitored by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)

Here are some testing rules that may be useful:

Overview of Drug and Alcohol Rules (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)

Federal Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration)


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