Teen Faces Drugged Driving Charge in Hampton After Fatal Crash
Driving under the influence of drugs is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol in Virginia Beach, but it receives less attention. A recent fatal wreck that left a teen facing a drugged driving charge in Hampton highlighted the problem this week.
Virginia State Police said a 17-year-old man from Culpeper was charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) after a crash early on July 2 on Interstate 64 in Hampton.
This crash killed another teen and sent three other people to a local hospital with serious injuries. Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of the victims after this tragic wreck.
Charges Against the Responsible Driver
State police brought a drugged driving charge in Hampton after troopers arrived at mile marker 261, near Hampton Roads Center Parkway just before 5 a.m.
They found a Kia Forte ran off the side of I-64. The car kept on going behind a guardrail and headed up a concrete embankment toward the Big Bethel Road overpass. It then rolled over and fell down the embankment.
The crash backed up Magruder Boulevard during the morning commute as police attended the fatal accident scene.
Virginia State Police said four people in the car survived the crash – the 17-year-old driver and three passengers. Tragically, a fourth passenger – a 17-year-old woman from Culpeper – was thrown out of the car and died at the crash scene.
Drugged Driving in Virginia is a Hidden Problem
Drugged driving is a serious problem in Virginia. However, the extent of this dangerous behavior is unknown. Every year about 1.12 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state drugs play a significant role in serious traffic accidents. The CDC says marijuana and cocaine are factors in as much as 18 percent of motor vehicle deaths. They are often used in combination with alcohol. 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.”
The Pew Charitable Trusts suggests the legalization of small quantities of marijuana in certain states and the opioid epidemic has fueled traffic deaths.
The Governors Highway Safety Association found 44 percent of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for drugs had positive results in 2016. The figure was up over 50 percent compared with 10 years ago. More than half the drivers tested positive for marijuana, opioids, or a combination of the two drugs. Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal even in states that legalized marijuana, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
States such as Virginia struggle to get to grips with the scale of drugged driving. Traffic safety experts point out it’s straightforward for police to test drivers for alcohol impairment using a breathalyzer or a blood test. It’s harder to screen drivers for impairment by drugs.
The United States lacks a tried and tested method to test drivers, and far too many drugs are on the market for police to administer drug-specific tests. Different drugs also have different effects on drivers.
Learn More from a Virginia Beach Drugged Driving Car Accident Lawyer
The drugged driving charge in Hampton after this latest tragedy on the highways of Virginia highlights the scale of the problem. Over the summer months, more young people are going to parties and taking drugs and alcohol. These can be deadly times for young people. If you have lost a loved one in a Virginia car wreck, please call our experienced Virginia wrongful death team today.