B.C. drivers are putting down the bottle and picking up the bong.

According to a study released Thursday by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), 10.4 per cent of motorists tested positive for drug use.

Out of 1,533 drivers tested in the Lower Mainland, 8.1 per cent measured positive for alcohol use and 15.5 per cent tested positive for both alcohol and drug use.

Doug Beirness, senior researcher for the study, said the discovery is bittersweet.

“Drinking and driving appeared to be on the decline,” Beirness said. “That’s the good news, unfortunately driving after drug use is now just as prevalent.”

Beirness credited the decrease in drinking and driving to the preventative programs made available in the last 10 years. He wants to see the same for drugs. “Sixteen- to 18-year-olds (measured) didn’t include one person drinking,” Beirness said. “Now, they haven’t got the drug message yet.”

Beirness said nine per cent of that age group tested positive for drug use.

“The drinking and driving message works,” he said. “A drug one will too.”

• Drivers aged 19-35 were the most common offenders for drinking under the influence of drugs and alcohol.