Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while being impaired by alcohol, or any drug (prescribed or illicit).

“Drunk” driving and “Drugged” driving have historically been used as independent terms to describe drunk driving (under the influence of alcohol) or drugged driving (under the influence of drugs). However, in recent years, fatal crash toxicology data shows that an increasing percentage of fatally injured drivers with a positive screening result have multiple substances present in their system. This is commonly referred to as “Poly-Use”. Therefore, AAMVA has opted to use “Impaired Driving” as a singular term to describe driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of both. 

AAMVA members are responsible for administering policy and programs to combat impaired driving to enhance highway safety. These programs include enforcement of impaired driving laws, administration of rules and policies to act against driving privileges for those convicted of impaired driving violations, and to establish programs to deter impaired driving.   

In 2023, AAMVA published the Ignition Interlock Program Best Practices Guide, Edition 3  to assist jurisdictions in the administration, development, design, and standardization of ignition interlock programs. AAMVA also developed an Ignition Interlock Law Enforcement Training video which provides education to law enforcement officers in how to properly interact with an ignition interlock device at roadside.

AAMVA's Policy Position on Combatting Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs supports the implementation of a management policy that establishes impaired driving offenses as a top priority for enforcement and administrative sanctions, supports training programs to enhance skills in detecting and apprehending impaired drivers, and encourages policies that support timely pursuit of search warrants for blood whenever a suspected impaired driver refuses to voluntarily submit to a breath or blood test.

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