DUIs are most commonly associated with drivers who are driving while impaired by alcohol. Did you know that a DUI can also be charged to those drivers who are caught driving under the influence of illicit and prescription drugs? This means if you smoke marijuana, for example, and go for a drive, you can get pulled over and receive a DUI. Unfortunately, as experienced by Bain & Rodzik’s drunk driving attorney in Shallotte NC, these substances are becoming increasingly more prevalent in DUI arrests.
Drugs and Their Effect on Drivers
DUI drug arrests are growing in number because any drug that acts on the brain and central nervous system greatly impairs the driver’s motor skills, reaction time, and judgment. “Drugged driving” not only puts the driver at risk, but their passengers and anybody else they pass on the road or walkways are also at risk of being severely injured or worse.
How Big of a Problem is Drugged Driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a recent National Roadside Survey found that more than 16% of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Illegal drugs were involved in 11% of the cases.
In 2009, 18% (3,952) of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one drug (illegal, prescription and/or over-the-counter).
The Dangers of Marijuana Use and Driving
Marijuana is second only to alcohol in driving under the influence arrests. With this drug being increasingly considered for legalization, it is important to understand why it is especially dangerous to drivers.
Marijuana, or more precisely THC, which is the high producing element in the drug, affects the areas of the brain that control body movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment. Simulated driving studies have shown that marijuana negatively affects a driver’s attentiveness, perception of time and speed, and their ability to learn from information obtained from past experiences. Research also shows that when marijuana is used in tandem with alcohol, a driver’s impairment is even greater.
In yet another study conducted by Monitoring the Future (MTF), it was discovered that 1 in 12 high school seniors reported driving after smoking marijuana. With the legalization of marijuana being accepted in Washington and Colorado, drugged driving cases are sure to become even more of a factor in automobile accidents in those states.
What is North Carolina’s Stance on Drugged Driving
North Carolina is one of 17 states that have passed “per se” laws for drugged driving; making it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if there is any detectable level of a prohibited drug or its metabolites in the driver’s blood.
Contact Bain & Rodzik’s Drunk Driving Attorney in Shallotte NC
If you were involved in an accident that was caused by a driver who was determined to be under the influence of an illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drug, then you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, pain, and suffering. Let Bain & Rodzik help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with Bain & Rodzik’s drunk driving attorney in Shallotte NC, please call us at 910-762-1199 or visit our website at bainandrodzik.com.
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