• New report shows jump in fatal drug-related crashes

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    A new report finds an increase in the percentage of drivers killed while on drugs.

    The report says fatal drug-related crashes outpace fatal alcohol-related ones.

    KIRO 7 reporter Rob Munoz is breaking down the results of the report and looking at the steps police are taking for live reports in our morning newscast, on air until 7 a.m.

    The report says that Washington specifically has twice as many drivers in fatal crashes who were on more than one drug than just alcohol or marijuana alone.

    The data is from 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 28 percent in 2006.

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

    While officers in Washington are being trained to recognize drugs, the GHSA says regulations need to come in line.

    “Right now, we don't have a nationally agreed upon way to test drivers for drug impairment similar to a Breathalyzer or blood test for alcohol,” said the Director of Government Relations for the GHSA, Russ Martin.

    Here's a local case we're tracking:

    In September, an Everett man with a long criminal history, including past DUIs, will be in court for a crash that killed his passenger.

    Court papers say 50-year-old Keith Ryle told a corrections officer he smoked methamphetamine before crashing in Lake Stevens and killing Greg Solomon.

    In Washington there is Vision Zero, which aims to wipe out state fatalities on roads.

    The state Traffic Safety Commission found in a separate study a few months ago that the ongoing opioid crisis has made that goal more difficult.

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