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Drugs that Impair Safe Driving; Request for Comments


American Government

Drugs that Impair Safe Driving; Request for Comments

Jeff Michael
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
17 July 2018


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 137 (Tuesday, July 17, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33305-33306]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15209]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

[Docket No. NHTSA-2018-XXXX]


Drugs that Impair Safe Driving; Request for Comments

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: NHTSA is reviewing the literature on drug use and driving with 
the aim of updating its Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets that 
are used by the criminal justice community and others as they address 
drug-impaired driving. The current edition of the Fact Sheets was 
released in 2004 and included information on the following drugs: 
Carisoprodol, cocaine, dextromethorphan, diazepam, diphenhydramine, 
gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), ketamine, lysergic acid diethylamide 
(LSD), marijuana, methadone, methamphetamine, 
methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), morphine, phencyclidine (PCP), 
toluene, and zolpidem. NHTSA welcomes comments and suggestions for 
additional drugs to be considered for inclusion in the new edition of 
the Fact Sheets as well as relevant research studies that have become 
available since 2004 that could be included in the updated fact sheets. 
To the extent possible, such comments and suggestions should be 
accompanied by information about the drug, including the extent of its 
use, its pharmacology and pharmodynamics, and how impairing it is for 
driving, along with references.

DATES: Interested parties are invited to submit comments and 
suggestions on or before September 1, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions about this 
request for comment, please contact Richard Compton at 
NHTSAdruginfo@dot.gov or 202-366-2699.
    Written Comments: Written statements and supporting information 
submitted during the comment period will be considered. Please submit 
all written comments no later than September 1, 2018, by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001, between 
9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
     Fax: 202-366-1767.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number. Note that all comments received will be posted without 
change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act discussion below.
    Docket: For access to the docket go to http://www.regulations.gov 
at any time or to 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Telephone: 202-366-
9826.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477-78), or you may visit 
http://www.regulations.gov/privacy.html.
    Confidential Business Information: If you wish to submit any 
information under a claim of confidentiality, you should submit three 
copies of your

[[Page 33306]]

complete submission, including the information you claim to be 
confidential business information, to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, 1200 
New Jersey Ave. SE, W41-326, Washington DC 20590. In addition, you 
should submit two copies, from which you have deleted the claimed 
confidential business information, to Docket Management at the address 
given above. When you send a comment containing information claimed to 
be confidential business information, you should submit a cover letter 
setting forth the information specified in our confidential business 
information regulation (49 CFR part 512).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    In the early 2000s, NHTSA convened a panel of international experts 
on drug-impaired driving to review developments in the field of drugs 
and human performance and to identify the specific effects that both 
high priority illicit and prescription drugs have on driving. The 
experts represented the fields of psychopharmacology, behavioral 
psychology, drug chemistry, forensic toxicology, medicine, and law 
enforcement. That effort resulted in the publication of a document 
entitled Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets (DOT HS 809 725) in 
June 2004.
    Each Fact Sheet covered one of the selected sixteen drugs that 
impair driving. The selected drugs included over-the-counter 
medications such as dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine; prescription 
medications such as carisoprodol, diazepam, and zolpidem; and abused 
and/or illegal drugs such as cocaine, GHB, ketamine, LSD, marijuana, 
methadone, methamphetamine, MDMA, morphine, PCP, and toluene. Each 
individual drug Fact Sheet covered information regarding drug 
chemistry, usage and dosage information, pharmacology, drug effects, 
effects on driving, drug evaluation and classification, and the panel's 
assessment of driving risks. More specifically, the Fact Sheets 
provided details on the physical description of the drug, synonyms, and 
pharmaceutical or illicit sources; medical and recreational uses, 
recommended and abused doses, typical routes of administration, and 
potency and purity; mechanism of drug action and major receptor sites; 
drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination data; blood 
and urine concentrations; psychological and physiological effects, and 
drug interactions; drug effects on psychomotor performance effects; 
driving simulator and epidemiology studies; and drug recognition 
evaluation profiles. Each Fact Sheet concludes with general statements 
about the drugs' ability to impair driving performance. A list of key 
references and recommended reading was also provided for each drug.
    Since 2004, new research on these and other impairing drugs has 
become available. As a result, NHTSA plans to evaluate whether 
additional drugs that impair driving should be included in the Fact 
Sheets and to add them as appropriate, as well as to update information 
on the effects of the sixteen aforementioned drugs on driving. NHTSA 
will base the revised Fact Sheets on the state of current scientific 
knowledge. The agency intends to design the revised Fact Sheets to 
continue to provide practical guidance to toxicologists, 
pharmacologists, law enforcement officers, attorneys, and the general 
public to use in the evaluation of future cases.
    In order to assist on the development of the new edition of the 
Fact Sheets, NHTSA invites comments and suggestions from the general 
public on additional drugs as well as relevant research studies that 
have become available since 2004 that could be included in the updated 
fact sheets. To the extent possible, such comments and suggestions 
should be accompanied by information about the drug, including the 
extent of its use, its pharmacology and pharmodynamics, and how 
impairing it is for driving, along with references.

    Authority: 44 U.S.C. Section 3506(c)(2)(A).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 12, 2018.
Jeff Michael,
Associate Administrator, Research and Program Development.
[FR Doc. 2018-15209 Filed 7-16-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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