Many Americans are familiar with the dangers of distracted driving and drunk driving. However, according to a report by
The dangers of illicit drugs on drivers are well known. A driver under the influence of marijuana or other illegal drugs is a threat to themselves, their passengers and other drivers.
With the concentration on illicit drugs some individuals miss an important segment of drugged driving – prescription drugs. Drivers may ignore warnings present on many prescription drug labels that instruct patients not to drive while on the medication.
Still other drivers may take prescription drugs that do not belong to them or that are left over. These are dangerous practices for everyone on the road.
According to Drugabuse.gov, Prescription drugs such as opiate analgesics, amphetamines and benzodiazepines impair brain functions that could affect driving ability significantly. Again, these medications may have warning labels but sometimes
these warnings are ignored.
The problem of drugged driving is most prevalent in young adults. Individuals between the ages of 21 to 25 are estimated to drive under the influence of alcohol or a drug 24.8 percent of the time. Past the age of 25 the rates of impaired driving steadily decline as age increases.
In 2009, male drivers were more likely than females to drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. According to research, an estimated 10.5 million people over the age of 12 reported driving under the influence of an illicit drug during the year 2009.
Overall, research reveals that 3,952 drivers who were fatally injured in car accidents also tested positive for drug involvement.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is making a concentrated effort to combat drugged driving. The goal is to reduce drugged driving by 10% by the year 2015.
ONDCP’s strategy includes multiple efforts to increase penalties and crate more effective law enforcement strategies.
First, the ONDCP calls for states to enact Per Se drug impairment laws. A Per Se law means that if an individual is shown to have drugs in their system while driving then they are in violation. It would not necessary for a prosecutor to show impairment but only the presence of a substance to constitute a violation.
ONDCP also intends to continue research and data gathering on the topic of drugged driving. Using this research the office would like to enhance prevent of driving on drugs through education.
Finally, ONDCP intends to develop normalized screening methods for labs to effectively test for drugs.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
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