Jump in deadly crashes involving drug use, new report says

Posted: Updated:
In 2016, alcohol was involved in 38 percent of driver deaths while 44 percent of drivers killed tested positive for drugs, a jump from just 28 percent in 2006. (Source: Governor's Highway Safety Association) In 2016, alcohol was involved in 38 percent of driver deaths while 44 percent of drivers killed tested positive for drugs, a jump from just 28 percent in 2006. (Source: Governor's Highway Safety Association)
More than half of the drivers had marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two in their system. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) More than half of the drivers had marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two in their system. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A new report by the Governor's Highway Safety Association says there has been an increase in deadly crashes involving drug use over the past decade.

In 2016, alcohol was involved in 38 percent of driver deaths while 44 percent of drivers killed tested positive for drugs, a jump from just 28 percent in 2006.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Traffic]

More than half of the drivers had marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two in their system.

"We definitely see states liberalizing marijuana laws," said Russ Martin, director of government relations with the Governor's Highway Safety Association. "There are more prescriptions of drugs than ever before and we are in the midst of an opioid crisis."

The report also says identifying and testing a driver for drugs can be difficult because, as of now, there isn't a nationally agreed upon method to test drivers for drug impairment, similar to a breathalyzer or blood test for alcohol.

The report was funded by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.