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Tuesday, August 25, 2015 More...

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015 More...
Marijuana positive drivers increased in 2014
Newly released data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) shows that marijuana is increasing as a factor in deadly crashes. The number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who tested positive for marijuana increased 48 percent from 2013 to 2014.

"We have seen marijuana involvement in fatal crashes remain steady over the years, and then it just spiked in 2014," said Dr. Staci Hoff, WTSC Data and Research Director.

From 2010-2014, nearly 60 percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions were tested for drugs. Among these tested drivers, approximately 20 percent (349 drivers) were positive for marijuana.

However, just testing positive for marijuana doesn't necessarily indicate if a driver was actually affected by the drug at the time of the crash since marijuana can be detected in a person's blood for days (possibly weeks) after a person uses the drug. This new data is able to distinguish between drivers who test positive for THC, the impairing substance in marijuana and those who have residual marijuana in their system from prior use which may have occurred days ago.

The number of drivers testing positive for active THC has steadily increased, from less than half of marijuana positive drivers in 2010 up to almost 65% of drivers in 2013. In 2014, an alarming 85% (75 of 89 drivers) of drivers testing positive for marijuana were positive for impairing THC.

"With this data we are finally able to see who was high during the crash versus which drivers had used marijuana in the past few days," said Hoff, "The answer in 2014 is most of them were high."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 More...
Emergency funds support three drought-relief projects

Emergency funding is going to support three drought-relief projects in Eastern, Central and Western Washington. The money will help pay for a new well in Stevens County, water conservation in Benton County, and protect spawning salmon in the Dungeness River on the Olympic Peninsula.

"We're moving quickly to support critical water supplies for communities, farmers and fish across the state who are enduring extreme hardships in this unprecedented drought," said Director Maia Bellon of the Washington Department of Ecology.

Ecology has approved three grants to help pay half the cost of projects that will bring much needed relief.

Stevens County Public Utility District will receive $47,000 to help drill a new well to replace the failing main production well of the Riverside Water System. The new well will help provide reliable drinking water to 385 residents. Declining groundwater levels have been reducing production from the existing well since October 2014.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 More...
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