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Bill Proposes "Zero Tolerance" Policy for Drugged Driving

Feb 19, 2013

State Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) speaks at a Capitol news conference Tuesday about his bill that would create a "zero tolerance" policy for drugged driving.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

A California lawmaker wants to create a “zero tolerance” law for driving under the influence of drugs.

Democratic State Senator Lou Correa says his bill would expand the current law against drunk driving to cover drug use as well. 

“It took us decades to pound into people that you should not drink and drive.  Then, we started talking about texting and talking on the phone and driving.  And today, this is about being drugged and driving.” 

It’s already illegal to drive under the influence in California.  But Correa says law enforcement officials find it difficult and complicated to prosecute drugged drivers under current law.

The bill includes exceptions for drugs used with valid prescriptions.  But medical marijuana advocates say not all legal marijuana uses would be covered under the measure.  

They’re also concerned that drivers taking non-drowsy, over-the-counter cold or allergy medications could be considered under the influence – and criminally liable in an accident.