Vermont – Help Solve the Problem of Drugged Driving

California – Help Solve the Problem of Impaired Driving
September 19, 2016
California: Save a Life Now!
September 19, 2016

Vermont – Help Solve the Problem of Drugged Driving

Ask your legislator to support S.225. This bill will allow oral fluid testing for drugs to be conducted at roadside.

  • In one survey 6.6 % of respondents acknowledged driving while drugged.
  • Vermont has the highest rate of illicit drug use in the country with 15% of people saying they’ve used within the past month.
  • According to numbers from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, drugs of various types were in the systems of 12 of the 59 drivers involved in 42 crashes in 2014 that resulted in 44 fatalities.
  • The transportation agency’s data showed that so far in 2015, there have been 31 crashes resulting in 37 fatalities. Six of the 42 drivers involved have had drugs reported in their system, but the agency noted that toxicology results were still not available for 10 of those drivers.

If you do not know how to reach your Senator, go to this link.


This is the We Save Lives letter of support for your reference and use.   Thank you for caring.

Support Letter to Senator

April 27, 2016

Senator Dick Mazza
Vermont State House
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-5301

RE: S.225 An act relating to adding saliva testing to the DUI statutes – SUPPORT

I am writing you on behalf of We Save Lives, an international organization with more than 50 partners including, Stop DUID, DUID Victim Voices, Stop Drugged Driving, the National Safety Council, the Center for Forensic Science and Research Education and the Institute for Behavior and Health. We Save Lives supports H.288, sponsored by Representative David Potter that will amend the vehicle code to allow law enforcement to apply oral fluid testing if there is probable cause that a driver is under the influence. While drunk driving continues to be addressed by legislators, 20% of vehicular crashes are caused by drugged driving. In the United States, this translates into an estimated 8,600 deaths, 580,000 injuries, and $33 billion in property damage each year (Institute for Behavior and Health).

What you may not know is that:

  • Drugged drivers frequently escape prosecution which means –
  • No conviction which means –
  • No punishment or accountability which means –
  • No rehabilitation which means –
  • No justice for the victim/survivor and
  • No protection for society

However, there are methods of combatting this crime and one major way is through roadside oral fluid testing. These devices halt drugged drivers in their tracks by providing law enforcement the tools they need to test a suspicious driver quickly, easily and effectively, thereby providing more protection for the innocent driver on the roadway. We Save Lives does not endorse any particular product.

Approximately 13 states allow for oral fluid testing. If we limit the specimens (blood, urine, oral fluids) that can be collected we could be missing the opportunities to utilize new and cost-efficient resources available to law enforcement. Oral fluids are becoming a popular option for law enforcement because the test is less intrusive, and possibly more cost-effective than other standard forensic testing procedures. It eliminates cheating, is non-invasive and it can be conducted at roadside. Oral Fluid testing is currently being utilized in a number of countries, including Great Britain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium plus these devices are now being used in several states including California, Nevada, Arizona, Vermont and Tennessee.

Oral fluid provides officers the opportunity to collect critical evidence close to the time/at the initial contact when the objective signs of impairment are present. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been using these devices since 2007 in National Roadside Surveys and is now providing grant funding for states who wish to purchase them.

We are asking that the legislation provide our law enforcement officers with another tool in their tool kit to help eliminate drugged driving and make our roads safer for our families, friends and loved ones.

Saving lives is the primary concern of We Save Lives and that is why we support H.288. It is also the right thing to do. As this bill targets only those individuals who believe that driving dangerously and irresponsibly is their right, it will send a strong message about the dangers of impaired driving.

Sincerely,

Candace Lightner
President of We Save Lives.org
Founder of MADD
clightner@wesavelives.org


Support Letter to Representative

February 5, 2016

Representative David Potter
Vermont State House
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-5301

RE: H.228 (Potter) An act relating to adding saliva testing to the DUI statutes – SUPPORT

I am writing you on behalf of We Save Lives, an international organization with more than 50 partners including, Stop DUID, DUID Victim Voices, Stop Drugged Driving, the National Safety Council, the Center for Forensic Science and Research Education and the Institute for Behavior and Health. We Save Lives supports H.288, sponsored by Representative David Potter that will amend the vehicle code to allow law enforcement to apply oral fluid testing if there is probable cause that a driver is under the influence. While drunk driving continues to be addressed by legislators, 20% of vehicular crashes are caused by drugged driving. In the United States, this translates into an estimated 8,600 deaths, 580,000 injuries, and $33 billion in property damage each year (Institute for Behavior and Health).

What you may not know is that:

  • Drugged drivers frequently escape prosecution which means –
  • No conviction which means –
  • No punishment or accountability which means –
  • No rehabilitation which means –
  • No justice for the victim/survivor and
  • No protection for society

However, there are methods of combatting this crime and one major way is through roadside oral fluid testing. These devices halt drugged drivers in their tracks by providing law enforcement the tools they need to test a suspicious driver quickly, easily and effectively, thereby providing more protection for the innocent driver on the roadway. We Save Lives does not endorse any particular product.

Approximately 13 states allow for oral fluid testing. If we limit the specimens (blood, urine, oral fluids) that can be collected we could be missing the opportunities to utilize new and cost-efficient resources available to law enforcement. Oral fluids are becoming a popular option for law enforcement because the test is less intrusive, and possibly more cost-effective than other standard forensic testing procedures. It eliminates cheating, is non-invasive and it can be conducted at roadside. Oral Fluid testing is currently being utilized in a number of countries, including Great Britain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, France and Belgium plus these devices are now being used in several states including California, Nevada, Arizona, Vermont and Tennessee.

Oral fluid provides officers the opportunity to collect critical evidence close to the time/at the initial contact when the objective signs of impairment are present. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been using these devices since 2007 in National Roadside Surveys and is now providing grant funding for states who wish to purchase them.

We are asking that the legislation provide our law enforcement officers with another tool in their tool kit to help eliminate drugged driving and make our roads safer for our families, friends and loved ones.

Saving lives is the primary concern of We Save Lives and that is why we support H.288. It is also the right thing to do. As this bill targets only those individuals who believe that driving dangerously and irresponsibly is their right, it will send a strong message about the dangers of impaired driving.

Sincerely,

 

Candace Lightner
President of We Save Lives.org
Founder of MADD
clightner@wesavelives.org

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