Will Vt. roads become more dangerous with legal pot?

Published: May. 31, 2018 at 5:53 PM EDT
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A new national report finds that fatal drug-related crashes are outnumbering deadly accidents involving alcohol.

According to a new report from the 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. That's a jump from just 28-percent back in 2006. More than half of the drivers had marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two in their system.

Vermont statistics reflect the same trend. We asked state police if they expect Vermont's roads to become more dangerous on July 1st, when recreational pot becomes legal.

"I don't know what to expect, but if there is any indication of what we have seen in other states that have legalized -- they have seen some increases," said Vermont State Police Lt. John Flanngian.

Lt. Flannigan says the State Police will continue to push for a saliva test for suspected drugged drivers. He says that test can't determine if someone is high, but it can be used to support an officer's observation of impairment.