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DUI is Rapidly Becoming DUID: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois drugged driving defense lawyerWhen you think about driving under the influence (DUI), do you think the bigger issue is driving while intoxicated by alcohol, or driving while impaired by drugs, such as marijuana or heroin?

Drug-Impaired Driving Is a Growing Problem

Interestingly enough, fatal car crash data shows that the number of alcohol-impaired drivers killed has declined over the past decade, while the number of drug-impaired drivers killed has risen. Now, there is no nationwide standard protocol for alcohol and drug testing of drivers killed in car crashes, but a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association in May 2018 stated some concerning facts in relation to drug-impaired driving:

  • The number of known alcohol-positive drivers killed in a car crash decreased from 7,750 in 2006 to 5,473 in 2016;
  • The number of known drug-positive drivers killed in a car crash increased from 3,994 in 2006 to 5,365 in 2016;
  • Of those who were tested, nearly half of the drivers involved in a fatal crash tested positive for both drugs and alcohol; and
  • Of the drug-positive drivers killed, 38% tested positive for cannabis, 16% for opioids, 4% for both, and 42% for some other drug.

 One reason given for the increase in drug-impaired driving is the rise in opioid use, which includes illegal “street” drugs, like heroin and illegally manufactured fentanyl (a synthetic opioid), as well as prescription drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin.

Another reason is the rising acceptability of marijuana use as more states legalize non-medical use of cannabis by adults. As of November 2018, recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, while medical marijuana is legal in 33 states.

Marijuana Legalization May Contribute to More DUID Deaths

Another concerning statistic comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The state legalized adult marijuana use in 2013. CDOT reported that the number of fatal car crashes in which a driver tested positive for THC increased from 18 in 2013 to 77 in 2016.

As marijuana use becomes more widespread, Illinois drivers should take note of these risk factors. The motto of “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” may soon need to change to “friends don’t let friends drive high.”

A DuPage County DUI Defense Lawyer with a Proven Track Record

In Illinois, a DUI conviction stays on your criminal record for life, and it can seriously limit your job opportunities, especially if illegal drug charges are also involved. An experienced Oak Brook DUI defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid having even the minimal sentence - court supervision - on your record. McMahon Law Offices will make every effort to reduce the impact of a DUI arrest on the rest of your life. Call 630-953-4400 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/17348-impairment-is-impairment-study-finds-drugs-about-on-par-with-alcohol-as-cause-of-fatal-crashes

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drug-impaired-driving

https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/GHSA_DrugImpairedDriving_FINAL.pdf

https://www.businessinsider.com/legal-marijuana-states-2018-1

 

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