Drugged Driving, A Growing Threat
Drugged driving is a dangerous trend on US highways. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is a significant increase in drivers driving with illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs in their system. Part of this may be due to the fact that people don’t realize that, just because you have a prescription for a drug, doesn’t mean that it is legal to drive while under it’s influence. The same holds true for some over-the-counter drugs. While they are not illegal, if you are driving while under it’s influence and it affects your driving, you are driving under the influence. The drug showing the greatest increase is marijuana or THC, most likely due to it’s recent legalization in some states. However, the two most common prescription drugs found in fatality and serious accidents are benzodiazepines and opiates.
Although drug-impaired driving is evident in all age groups, the focus seems to be on teens and seniors. According to the NHTSA, two-thirds of senior drivers take five or more medications daily that may affect their driving. Also disturbing is that approximately 23 percent of all fatally injured drivers who test positive for drugs are younger than 25.
As mentioned above, what people don’t understand is that common drugs such as Ambien, Xanax and even cough medicine can affect an individual’s driving. And people who use marijuana don’t believe, or won’t acknowledge, that it can affect their driving. But, the reality is that all of these substances can affect a driver’s concentration, judgment, reaction time and focus. So, put very basically, if you use anything that impairs your driving, you could be facing an arrest for drugged driving.
If you have been arrested for drugged driving, it is important to seek the advice and assistance of an experienced driving under the influence lawyer. Because there is no definitive research that quantifies the level of any particular substance in a driver’s blood, a good Orange County Defense Attorney may be able to prevent a conviction for driving under the influence.