Driving after taking drugs in Hampton Roads is a more common problem than we may think. We know a lot of about drunk driving. There are tried and tested methods to measure blood/alcohol content. Discovering if a driver is drugged is a more imprecise process.
It’s hard to know the true extent of drugged driving in Hampton Roads. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states drugs like marijuana and cocaine are involved in as many as 18 percent of motor vehicle deaths. These drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.
There are some reasons to suggest drugged driving is more widespread than this. Some studies suggest drugs are a factor in as many as half of DUI arrests. The victims of driving after taking drugs in Hampton Roads include other motorists, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence states:
“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 driver’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment.”
Drugged driving is a big problem in today’s society, as I point out in this video.
Drivers who have taken some kind of street drug are less alert and not as safe as they should be behind the wheel. With drunk driving, there’s a whole tried and tested system where the police on stopping someone can test and figure out what their BAC was.
It’s a little more complicated with drugged driving but there is a blood test to tell whether you have marijuana or cocaine, or heroin or another drug in your system.
Sometimes the police and the hospital will do the blood test whether the at-fault driver likes it or not. They can basically be compelled to do so. If they refuse, a separate charge can be against them.
The refusal to take a blood or breath test in Virginia can result in the suspension of your driving license for a year under Virginia State Code. This is in addition to any suspension period associated with the offense itself.
It’s not always easy to prove that there was a drugged driver behind the wheel. We have developed some systems to try to figure out how to get that evidence and how to ask the right questions.
Drugged driving in Hampton Roads may not be the result of street drugs alone. The opioid epidemic has made headlines in recent years with good reason. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse more than 20,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016.
There are a lot of people who are abusing opioids and opium-type drugs. In many cases, these people became addicted when they were prescribed opioids for pain relief by their doctor. At the outset of the epidemic some doctors were accused of operating so called ‘pill mills’ that dispensed these powerful drugs almost on demand. Federal and local criminal enforcement led to a clampdown on abuse of opioids.
However, people wo started taking these drugs because they were prescribed, may keep taking the drug. Because they can no longer obtain the drug legally, they are starting to get a street version of the drug like powerful fentanyl patches. The opioid epidemic can and is being seen on the highways of Virginia.
It’s a really frightening idea to think the person driving next to you might be out of their minds on drugs. If you have been in an accident and it was not your fault and you suspect drugs was a factor, you should let me know as your personal injury lawyer so I can try to get to the bottom of it and see if we can prove it.
Driving after taking drugs in Hampton Roads is never a good idea. Call Uber or Lyft or phone a friend. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers represents people in Hampton Roads who have been injured in drunk and drugged driving crashes, as well as further afield in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. We never represent drunk or drugged drivers. Please call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.