Third international symposium on drug-impaired driving

The Third international symposium on drug-impaired driving took place on 23 October 2017 in Lisbon immediately prior to the Second European conference on addictive behaviours and dependencies (24-26 October). The symposium was a collaborative effort between the EMCDDA, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse International Program (NIDA)  and the New Zealand Drug Foundation.

With cannabis use and policy evolving internationally, drug-impaired driving has become an increasingly relevant issue. This international symposium put the spotlight on key developments relevant to road safety in recent years and highlighted the implications of these for drug-impaired driving. The prevalence of drug-impaired driving has begun to rival that of alcohol-impaired driving in some parts of the world, resulting in a greater focus on the ability to detect drug-impaired drivers using roadside screening tools. Similarly, with the changes in cannabis policy, many jurisdictions are working towards or have already implemented laws that establish ‘per se’ limits for drug use. With these significant changes in mind, mobilisation of research and collaboration of efforts will help us to navigate this growing area of concern. The objective of the symposium was to bring together key stakeholders who have advanced the field — whether it be through detection technology, innovation in prevention or experience in developing new drug policy — to share their experiences and lessons learned and to develop next steps to effectively address drug-impaired driving. This symposium gave participants the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the field, highlight new research and identify gaps still needing attention.


Doug Beirness, Canada,
Senior Research & Policy Analyst and Advisor, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Carolina Patricia Castillo, UK,
Senior Policy Adviser, Drink and Drug Driving Policy, Department for Transport

Glenn Davis, USA,
Highway Safety Manager, Highway Safety Office

Mário Dias, Portugal,
Senior Advisor in Forensic Toxicology, National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences

Marcin Flieger, Switzerland,
Program Manager – Road Policing Capacity Building, Global Road Safety Partnership

Darrin Grondel, USA,
Secretary, Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)

Richard P. Compton, USA,
Director, Office of Behavioral Safety Research,
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation

Amy Porath-Waller, Canada,
Director, Research & Policy at Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA)

Jan Ramaekers, Netherlands,
Professor of Psychopharmacology and Behavioral Toxicology, Maastricht University

Vigdis Vindenes, Norway,
Head of Section ‘Drug Abuse Research’,
Oslo University Hospital

Kim Wolff, United Kingdom,
Professor of Addiction Science,
King’s College, London


The Lisbon Congress Centre is located close to the river Tagus and the historical and cultural district of Belém, just a few minutes from the city centre, well
served by public transport. The ‘3rd international symposium on drug-impaired driving’ is taking place on 23 October in Lisbon
immediately prior to Lisbon Addictions 2017, the Second European conference on addictive behaviours and dependencies (24–26 October 2017).