Alumnae, Faculty Publish on Drug-Impaired Driving and Motor Vehicle Fatalities

By Caitlin Burns | June 22, 2021

By Katherine Haines ’21, ’22

Amanda D’Orazio ’15, ’17M and Amanda Mohr ’12M and faculty members Dr. Karen Scott, associate professor and program director of Forensic Science, and Dr. Barry Logan, associate professor of Forensic Science, published “Recommendations for Toxicological Investigation of Drug-Impaired Driving and Motor Vehicle Fatalities—2021 Update” in the June Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

This paper is the fourth report in a series of publications describing updates to the National Safety Council’s Alcohol, Drugs and Impairment Division’s recommendations for drug testing in driving under the influence of drug (DUID) cases and motor vehicle fatalities. The report outlines the decisions made in the consensus meeting held between representative forensic science practitioners and the authors of this report who met to update the recommendations.

There were no changes to the Tier I drugs in this most recent update, but some of the cutoffs were amended, as well as some minor amendments to the drugs in the Tier II category.

“The recommendations are split into two tiers of drugs: those that all labs must be testing for (Tier I) and those that are based on regional trends and available resources (Tier II),” said Dr. Scott. “The consensus panel is also encouraging labs to work with their traffic safety partners to encourage the use of blood and oral fluid as the preferred matrices for testing in  DUID cases, as opposed to urine.”
The paper was published in collaboration with authors Ayako Chan-Hosokawa, toxicologist at NMS Labs; Curt Harper, chief toxicologist at Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences; Marilyn A. Huestis, president at Huestis and Smith Toxicology; Jennifer F. Limoges, supervisor of Forensic Services and Toxicology at New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center; Amy K. Miles, president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene; Colleen E. Scarneo, forensic toxicologist at New England Forensic Toxicology LLC; Sarah Kerrigan, professor and department chair of forensic science at Sam Houston State University; and Laura J. Liddicoat, toxicologist at the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education.