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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.

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois defense attorneyDriving under the influence of alcohol is a very serious offense that can be deadly. Not only can a DUI negatively affect the lives of others involved, but the offense can also negatively affect your life, as you may have a much more difficult time gaining employment, rights to your driver’s license, and the ability for you to maintain a vehicle. Even though drunk driving can cause major problems, there has been evidence shown that driving under the influence of drugs may be more serious.

DUI Deaths Related to Drugs and Alcohol

Three years ago, in 2015, drug tests that had tested positive were more common than the presence of alcohol in drivers who were killed in a car accident. As much as 43 percent of motorists killed had used drugs prior to driving, and 37 percent of motorists killed had been drinking before driving. Even though drugs and alcohol can affect individuals differently, drinking and driving or using drugs and driving should be taken seriously all around. If a driver acts impaired after using drugs and alcohol, he or she should not drive.

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Illinois DUI lawyerJust recently, there has been a novel way for law enforcement to determine whether or not a person has been driving after using drugs. To test for alcohol in the system, the standardized breath test is often administered. Then, if the driver who was pulled over had been drinking before going behind the wheel, he or she may be charged with a DUI, which could cause undesired consequences, such as lost driving privileges, loss of the vehicle, or even lost employment opportunities.

What Is This New Test?

Drunk driving is often very obvious to detect, with the slurred speech and the smell of alcohol on the driver. However, if the driver has been using marijuana, prescription drugs, and heroin, there are other ways that these drugs must be detected.

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Illinois DUI lawyerWe are now into 2018, with most of us on a clean slate. On New Year’s Eve, there are always parties that occur, which often include alcohol. Even though most people create a strategy to return home safely and without legal interference, DUI’s often occur around this time. Driving after consuming alcohol is very dangerous and can cause you and those affected undesired consequences, such as a criminal record, serious injury, or even death. However, mixing drugs and alcohol has been proven to be more potent than just alcohol by itself.

Why Is it Dangerous to Drive After Using Drugs?

Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines have been proven to cause harm on the roads. Alcohol and marijuana have been commonly known to cause a delay in reaction time, impaired judgment of time and distance from other vehicles, and decrease in driving coordination. Cocaine and methamphetamines often cause the offender to drive aggressively and carelessly, and benzodiazepines, one of many different types of sedatives, can cause dizziness and drowsiness.

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thc marijuana laws in illinois, DuPage County DUI defense lawyerIllinois has made significant strides toward more sensible marijuana regulations. Governor Quinn signed SB 2228 into law in 2016. With the signing of that bill, for the first time in Illinois, the courts did away with the "zero tolerance" policy regarding the operation of a vehicle while having Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a person's system.

The way the law operates today is comparable to how the state regulates drinking and driving. In contrast to the way the old law worked where any presence of THC in a person's system was enough for a marijuana DUI conviction, the law now considers a tiered-based system. For example, the law mandates that someone is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle with more than 5 ng of THC per ml of blood or 10 ng of THC per ml of any other bodily substance.

Is Buzzed Driving the Same as Stoned Driving?

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