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NHTSA Survey Reveals More Drugged Drivers and Less Drunk Drivers

Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Feb 11, 2015 in Auto Accidents

DWIThere are fewer drunk drivers on the road, but their place has been taken by people high on marijuana and prescription drugs, according to two reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Survey: More People Driving Drugged

The agency says a 2014 survey finds that nearly 1 in 4 on the road tested positive for a drug that endangered them or others. 

While drug-impaired driving is on the rise, the NHTSA says the number of drivers on the road with alcohol in their system has declined by nearly one-third since 2007. 

Overall, 22 percent of drivers tested positive for some kind of drug that could affect safety. That includes illegal drugs as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications.

The primary concern about drugged driving is clear - it is dangerous. Being under the influence of any drug that acts on the brain and central nervous system impairs a drivers motor skills, reaction time and judgment. This puts drivers, passengers and people in the area at risk.

How Police Identify Drugged Drivers

So far, no spot test is available for police to use to identify drivers under the influence of drugs; like the portable breathalyzer used to identify drivers under the influence of alcohol. However, that doesn't mean the police have no way of knowing if you've just smoked marijuana or taken prescription medication before sliding behind the wheel.

Training techniques are usually focused on seven classes of drugs that may be affecting intoxicated drivers. Those drug classes are central nervous system depressants, inhalants, dissociative anesthetics, cannabis, central nervous system stimulants, hallucinogens, and narcotic analgesics.

Police don't need to know for certain you are under the influence of drugs or even alcohol to make an arrest. All they need is a reason to be suspicious; and you will be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

At the law offices of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings , we know that impaired drivers endanger everyone on the road. Our team of highly trained attorneys have the passion, integrity and grit to fight for your right to compensation.

Need Help? Call 877.920.9009 or request a free case evaluation today.