Drunk driving has been a problem since the advent of the car and, perhaps, since the first horse-drawn carriage. But what about driving under the influence of other drugs? How big of a problem is it?
All mind-altering drugs affect the user’s ability to concentrate, coordinate large and fine motor movements, react in good time, make decisions, and be alert to important details. Under the influence of any such drug, a driver will be impaired. Because of the incredible numbers of individuals hitting the road under the influence of drugs, 44 states and D.C. have developed Drug Evaluation and Classification Programs for the training of officers to identify signs of drug use.
Here is a frightening fact: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performed a National Roadside Survey in 2007 and found that 16% of all weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or OTC medications that are known to impair driving.
Another 11% tested positive for illicit (illegal) drugs. In 2009, a second study found that 18% of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one mind-altering substance, a number that has been on the rise in recent years.
In 2009, another study indicated that 6.3% of 16-17-year-olds drove under the influence in the last year. Each age group raised the percentage until the college-aged group (21-25) topped the charts with 24.8% having driven under the influence in the last year.
Driving under the influence of drugs, in the United States, is clearly a very serious and widespread problem. If you are one of the many who does so, in spite of the risks and laws, you may want to think about saving up now for a Utah DUI attorney, because the potential consequences for driving under the influence are very serious.