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Is drugged driving a serious problem?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2021 | Drunk Driving

Data compiled in 2018 as part of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) captured how 12.6 million individuals decided to get behind the wheel of their car while drugged that year. This statistic compares to eight million drunk drivers who took to the streets that same year. Both are equally dangerous behaviors that can easily result in someone getting hurt or killed. 

Who’s most apt to drive while under the influence of drugs?

The researchers who compiled this data determined that men and, more specifically, those between the age of 21 and 25 are most apt to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. 

How do drugs impact a motorist’s driving abilities?

Both illicit and prescription drugs can affect a driver’s alertness. They can also impact a motorist’s behaviors, mood and motor skills depending on the drug and amount of the drug someone consumes. 

Those who consume marijuana, for example, may have difficulty determining time or distance and thus have delayed responses to different hazards that come into their path. Benzodiazepines and opioid users may experience drowsiness, diminished reasoning abilities and dizziness. NSDUH data even shows that nearly 20% of drivers stopped for suspected drunk or drugged driving in 2016, ultimately tested positive for opioids. Motorists who consume cocaine or methamphetamine before getting behind their car’s wheel, on the other hand, may become aggressive and drive recklessly. 

What should you do if you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs?

One of law enforcements’ priorities is to keep the streets free of suspected intoxicated motorists — but not every arrest they make will stand up to a challenge. A conviction on your record may leave a lasting impression on your life. A DUI attorney can guide you through how the legal system works here in Carbondale and help you determine the best response to the charges you face.