Excellent OpEd in yesterday’s Cincinnati Post by Paul Armentano:
Imagine if it was against the law to drive home after consuming a single glass of wine at dinner.æ Now imagine it was against the law to do so after having consumed a single glass of wine two weeks ago.æ
Sound absurd? No more so than newly proposed Congressional legislation by Ohio Rep.æ Rob Portman mandating that each state enact laws sanctioning anyone who operates a motor vehicle “while any detectable amount of a controlled substance is present in the person’s body, as measured in the person’s blood, urine, saliva, or other bodily substance.”
While the expressed purpose of this legislation, the “Drug Impaired Driving Enforcement Act of 2004,” is to target and remove drug-impaired drivers from our nation’s roadways, the reality is that this poorly worded proposal would do little to improve public safety.æ Rather, it would falsely categorize sober drivers as “intoxicated” simply if they had consumed an illicit substance, particularly marijuana, some days or weeks earlier.
This is bad law. It is also improper at the federal level (it’s actually closer to federal blackmail against the states).