Drugged driving is deadly. And preventable.

In 2015, MADD expanded its mission to include fighting drug-impaired driving, reflecting our commitment and long history of serving victims and survivors of both drunk and drugged driving. With this commitment, MADD created a Drugged Driving Task Force with key law enforcement, traffic safety and research experts to study the potential effects of marijuana legalization, the national opioid crisis and the prevalence of prescription drugs could have on impaired driving.

What we learned:

  • Proven tools to combat drunk driving, such as high-visibility law enforcement, will detect and stop drugged driving too.
  • More research, more data and better testing are needed to fully understand the impact of marijuana legalization and other drugs on traffic safety and the under 21 population.
  • Alcohol is a drug that took years of research to understand and establish methods for measuring its impairing effects. The same cannot be said for measuring impairment caused by other drugs, but that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of drug-impaired driving.

MADD serves drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors every day. We want them to know that we are working hard to stop these senseless and 100 percent preventable crimes.

A critical step in this battle is understanding Americans’ attitudes and awareness toward marijuana, laws regulating its use and the risks of consuming and driving. In February 2020, MADD commissioned IPSOS, a global leader in market research, to conduct a nationwide study of adults 18 and older. These findings will guide us toward solutions that will honor those we could not save and lead us to a nation of  NO MORE VICTIMS ®

MADD Cannabis Report: America’s Perception on Consumption and Road Risk

2019-Report to the Nation

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How do we fight drugged driving?

The best way to stop drugged driving is to do more drunk driving enforcement.

Law enforcement officers are our best allies in the effort to reduce drugged driving and are the heroes who make our roads safe. Much like with drunk driving, the best way to deter and detect would-be drugged drivers is through the use of high-visibility enforcement tactics. These include sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

Because of the wide array of drugs and their varying levels of impairment, training is key to ridding our roadways of drugged drivers. That’s why MADD supports the full implementation of specialized training programs to assist law enforcement officers in detecting drugged drivers.

It’s more important than ever for MADD to be at the table to make sure that impaired driving does not increase as new laws go into effect and public attitudes change. While research and evidence remains unclear into the impacts of drugged driving, we do know that the same tools and strategies that stop drunk driving will stop drugged driving, too.

Drug Recognition Experts
The Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) program was created through a collaboration between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

The DEC program, also referred to as the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program, was developed to help officers identifying drug-impaired drivers. To become a DRE, officers must follow a rigorous three-phase training curriculum and learn to conduct a standardized and systematic 12-step evaluation consisting of physical, mental and medical components.

Currently, there are 37 states plus the District of Columbia participating in the program with about 8,000 officers trained nationwide. Click here to find a DRE Coordinator in your state.

For those agencies who lack the funding to employ a full time DRE, an alternative training has been established – the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) program.

ARIDE was created by NHTSA to address the gap between the traditional Standard Field Sobriety Test training given to officers to assist in detecting impaired drivers and the DEC/DRE program. The class requires 16 hours of classroom training versus the three-phase curriculum required to become a certified DRE.

There are currently more than 36,000 officers ARIDE certified.

For more information on the ARIDE program, contact the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) remains the foundation of impaired driving detection and enforcement for some 800,000 officers across the country. Some states, however, do not require SFST training for officers assigned to patrol functions. MADD expects all officers to have the basic SFST skills to detect an impaired driver on the roads.

Drugged driving is creating more victims

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Today, we can see a future without drunk driving, but we need your help to get there. Please join us in the fight by pledging to support the future of No More Victims.


MADD provides free supportive services to the victims of drunk and drugged driving, as well as underage drinking.




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