Is Arizona next?

We were successful getting the state of Colorado to amend its Driver Education Handbook to educate new teen drivers about the dangers of drugged driving.  Not just marijuana-impaired driving, but driving under the influence of any number of drugs or their combinations.  We expect the revised manual to be published early next year.  It will be available on the CDOT website.

Learning of this success, Sally Schindel asked if the same could be done in her home state of Arizona.  I reviewed that state’s Driver License Manual which devotes one page to alcohol and mentions other drugs, but not marijuana.  I reached out to the Arizona Department of Transportation, suggesting amendments but heard nothing back.  Nine months later, I followed up, but still no response.  

Sally then arranged with Matforce, a Yavapai County coalition focused on substance abuse prevention and public policies, to engage a ghostwriter/consultant to place an op-ed asking for better driver education in The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest circulation newspaper.

The op-ed was quickly accepted and published.  A day before publication, I received a nice response from the state, welcoming suggestions for amendments to their Driver License Manual. I was able to get the op-ed amended at the last minute to acknowledge the state’s response.

Initial responses to the op-ed were 3:1 in favor.

December 20th, the Arizona Driver License Manual was updated to include our suggested comments on impaired driving caused by marijuana’s THC.


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