In our previous blog post, we discussed how drug usage can lead to impaired driving charges. The fact of the matter is that driving after using any type of drug that alters your reaction time or thought process can lead to legal problems, but it can also lead to serious accidents that can kill you and other people on the roadways. A new report shows that drugged driving is on the rise.
From 2007 through 2013, the percentage of drivers who had marijuana or illegal drugs in their system increased from 12.4 percent to 15.1 percent. Shockingly, 38 percent of people who died in motor vehicle accidents in 2013 tested positive for legal or illegal drugs that could cause impairment.
It is important to note that not all drugs that impair driving are illegal drugs. Some prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs can cause impairment.
Amphetamines, which include nasal decongestants and medications used to treat ADHD were some of the most common drugs in the report. Other drugs, which were each present in less than 7 percent of cases studied, included hydrocodone, oxycodone, benzodiazepines and cocaine.
The overall most common drug in the report, which was present in 34.7 percent of the cases, was marijuana. Even in states that have legalized marijuana, driving after using marijuana can be a problem because the drug slows a person's reaction time.
Law enforcement officers are cracking down on drugged driving. The issue with this is that there isn't any field test that can determine the amount of drugs in a person's system. If you are facing criminal charges for drugged driving, you should explore all your options for a defense. The reason for the traffic stop, for example, might be an important factor for consideration.
Source: CNN, "Driving while drugged now just as deadly as drunk driving," Carina Storrs, Oct. 01, 2015