Upcoming Traffic Webcasts from the National Judicial College, Feb. 20 and March 20, 2014

The National Judicial College is offering two free traffic webcasts in the very near future.  On Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 1pm EST, Hon. Peggy Hora of California will be presenting “Drugged Driving Essentials Update”.  She will do a brief overview on drugged driving issues and statistics, and will provide an update on the new drugs that are being introduced to the public, discuss the manner in which these drugs impair driving, and point out some trial issues facing courts.  On Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12pm EST, Hon. Lou Schiff of Florida will present “The Younger Driver-Distracted Driving Issues”.  He will discuss the risks relating to young drivers, and discuss how to develop strategies for imposing innovative and effective sentences for young drivers.

New Mexico Legislature Passes 24/7 Sobriety and Drug Monitoring Resolution

On February 5, 2013 the New Mexico legislature passed a 24/7 Sobriety and Drug Monitoring Resolution.  Participants in the program are required to report to a testing center twice daily and receive an immediate sanction if they test positive.  In some rural areas, 24/7 programs use a device that remotely reports the results of alcohol consumption every 30 minutes (for high risk offenders) or a breath device with facial recognition software that requires the participant to provide a breath sample at specific intervals.  Because this technology is showing positive results, there is federal grant funding available to help localities establish these programs.

Bus Driver's Convictions in Deadly Crash Upheld

On February 11, 2014, the Virginia Court of Appeals upheld a bus driver’s convictions for a crash that killed four passengers, injured dozens and cast national attention on low-fare carriers operating on the East Coast.  Passengers testified that when the bus hit rumble strips on the shoulder of the highway, they noticed the driver slumped to the right with his head on his shoulder.  The crash caught the attention of government safety officials, who in June 2012 shut down more than two dozen similar curbside bus operations for safety violations .

Highway To Safety Podcast - Episode 12

David Wallace, producer of the Highway to Safety podcast, regularly looks at issues relating to traffic safety—providing knowledge, raising awareness, and giving tools to be a better driver.  In each episode, he interviews traffic safety professionals and policy makers and discusses relevant traffic safety issues and what we all can do to be safer.  In Episode 12, he interviews Judge Peggy Hora to discuss what DWI Courts are and why they are needed to reduce impaired driving by substance-addicted individuals.

Trends in Alcohol and Other Drugs Detected in Fatally Injured Drivers in the United States, 1999-2010

A recently published study from Columbia University’s Mailman School Public Health found that the prevalence of non-alcohol drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the U.S. has been steadily rising and tripled from 1999 to 2010 for drivers who tested positive for marijuana -- the most commonly detected non-alcohol drug -- suggesting that drugged driving may be playing an increasing role in fatal motor vehicle crashes.  Researchers found that of 23,591 drivers who were killed within one hour of a crash, 39.7 percent tested positive for alcohol and 24.8 percent for other drugs. The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs rose from 16.6 percent in 1999 to 28.3 percent in 2010; for marijuana, rates rose from 4.2 percent to 12.2 percent.

Upcoming Events

  • April 27-29, 2014: Lifesavers Conference, Nashville, TN
  • May 14-16, 2014: Drugged Driving Essentials For The Judiciary, The National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada.  Scholarships are available for interested applicants. Please email Irene Hart at ihart@judges.org for more information.
  • October 6-9, 2014:   Traffic Issues in the 21st Century, The National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada. Scholarships are available for interested applicants. Please email Irene Hart at ihart@judges.org for more information. 
  • Ongoing: The National Judicial College is available year round to present traffic related courses for your jurisdiction at no cost. If interested, please contact Irene Hart at ihart@judges.org.
  • ICM course calendar

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