Driving under the influence of drugs

Arizona drivers as well as those throughout the country might be increasingly getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs. Law enforcement and various organizations dedicated to driving safety report an increase in the number of people testing positive for drug use and overdosing while behind the wheel.

Various photos and videos have appeared on social media of drivers who have overdosed, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, 20 percent of drivers tested positive for drugs. Furthermore, a 2011 survey found that driving while under the influence of drugs was as common as drinking and driving among college students. With traffic fatalities rising more than 9 percent in the first nine months of 2015 and growing problems with opioid and other drugs in some states, concern about traffic safety is also rising.

For heroin users, one issue is that they tend to need more drugs on schedule to avoid withdrawal, and this may lead to taking a drug while still in the car. However, alcohol remains the biggest problem among drivers.

People who are facing drunk driving charges might want to speak to an attorney about how they can defend themselves. In some cases, it may be possible to get the charges dismissed, which could be particularly important for people in careers where they will face repercussions for a drunk driving charge. For example, a Breathalyzer test might have been administered incorrectly leading to false results. An attorney might also look at whether a person’s rights were violated when they were taken into custody. A plea bargain is another option. This might allow a person to plead guilty to a lesser offense and receive a lower penalty. This could be important since penalties may include significant fines and jail time.