Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including stimulants, can impair the ability to drive safely (Colorado, 2018). 

DUI Collisions

Stimulant-related fatal collision is not a rare event 

- In LAC, from 2001 to 2017, there were 834 fatal traffic collisions in which at least one driver tested positive for stimulants (stimulant-involved). This accounted for over one-fifth (21.3%) of fatal collisions in which at least one driver tested positive for alcohol or drugs (AOD-involved; N=3,924), and 7.5% of all fatal collisions (N=11,089). 

Stimulant-related fatal collisions are increasing

- The number of fatal collisions involving stimulants increased 51% from 51 in 2001 to 77 in 2016 in LAC (Figure 1). The proportion of all fatal collisions that involved stimulants increased by 2.7% from 7.1% in 2001 to 9.9% in 2016.

Meth is the most common stimulant in stimulant-related fatal collisions

- The most common type of stimulant used among stimulant-involved fatal collisions was methamphetamine. In 2016, there were 50 methamphetamine-involved fatal collisions, 29 cocaine-involved fatal collisions and 14 amphetamine-involved fatal collisions in LAC (Figure 2). 

Note: Data for 2017 were preliminary and are subject to change.

DUI Fatalities

- From 2001 to 2017, there were 945 fatalities from stimulant-involved fatal traffic collisions, accounting for 20% of AOD-involved fatalities from fatal collisions (N=4,629), and 7.9% of all fatalities from fatal collisions (N=11,893). The number of fatalities from fatal collisions involving stimulant increased 43% from 2001 to 2016 (Figure 3).

- Methamphetamine was the most common type of stimulant that involved in fatalities from fatal collisions, followed by cocaine and amphetamine. In 2016, there were 53 methamphetamine-involved fatalities, 32 cocaine-involved fatalities and 14 amphetamine-involved fatalities (Figure 4). 

Note: data for 2017 were preliminary and are subject to change.

DUI Injuries

- From 2001 to 2017, there were 710 injuries from stimulant-involved fatal traffic collisions, accounting for 17% of AOD-involved injuries from fatal collisions (N=4,159), and 8% of injuries from all kinds of fatal collisions (N=8,797). The number of injuries from fatal collisions involving stimulant increased 56.4% from 2001-2016 (Figure 5).

- Methamphetamine was the most common type of stimulant that involved in injuries from fatal collisions, followed by cocaine and amphetamine. In 2016, there were 43 methamphetamine-involved injuries, 17 cocaine-involved injuries and 10 amphetamine-involved injuries (Figure 6).

Note: data for 2017 were preliminary and are subject to change.

DUI Drivers

Stimulant-positive drivers were more likely to be male, aged 25-44, and Latinx

- The drivers who died in fatal collisions (N=720) and had tested positive for stimulant were predominantly male (N=617, 86%), and over half of them were aged 25-44 years (N=409, 57%) (Figures 7-8)

- Among drivers who died in fatal collisions (for which race/ethnicity information was available from death certificates) and had who tested positive for stimulant, whites (40%) and Latinxs (42%) accounted for the largest race/ethnic group, followed by blacks (13%), Asian/Pacific Islanders (API) (3%) and other (American Indian and multiple race) (Figure 9). 

Drug Combinations

Stimulant-positive drivers most often took stimulants alone or in combination with other drugs, less often with alcohol

- Among 840 drivers in 834 fatal collisions who tested positive for stimulants, 33% were positive for stimulant(s) alone, 26% were positive for stimulant(s) and other drugs, 24% were positive for stimulant(s) and alcohol (BAC > 0.08), and 17% were positive for stimulant(s), alcohol, and other drug(s) (Figure 11).

References

Colorado Department of Public Safety. Division of Criminal Justice. Office of Research and Statistics. (2018). Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol. A Report Pursuant to House Bill 17-1315.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 2001-2017.