Drugged Driving: Another Path to DUI
Drugged driving is a serious public health matter that too many people dismiss as unimportant. Little do they realize it drug-impaired driving is a problem that severely injured countless individuals and killed at least 40,000 of people in 2016, states USA Today. It may seem like every time you turn on the news you hear stories about how other states are legalizing marijuana. You also hear about the growing opioid crisis.
Despite the substance being decriminalized at the state level for some parts of the country, it is still considered an illegal substance in South Carolina. So are other types of drugs that people commonly use, such as opioids, cocaine and heroin. Also, using prescription drugs that belong to someone else can lead to criminal DUI and drug charges.
Ignorance of Drugged Driving Does Not Erase the Dangers
Many people dismiss the seriousness and dangers of drugged driving. In fact, a recent study shows that more drivers consider drugged driving to be a minor problem on the roads. According to U.S. News & World Report L.P., approximately 40 percent of surveyed drivers do not believe car accidents are occurring more often due to drug impairment; though almost 90 percent of them believed that drugged driving is a growing problem.
An Old Problem That Is Becoming a Major Safety Issue
Drug impairment is not a new thing. It is a controversial issue because it is not always possible for law enforcement to apprehend alleged offenders. On average, an alcohol-impaired driver does not get caught until they have driven while impaired at least 80 times. One can imagine how many times it takes for drug-impaired motorists to get caught. More and more tourists and visitors are driving on the streets every day, some of them do so while they are impaired off drugs.
Awareness and Prevention Are Crucial
It is important for all motorists to clearly understand the dangers of operating any vehicle while suffering from impairment of any kind, especially alcohol and drugs. Even what seems to be a small delay in response time or effect on a person’s cognitive and physical motor skills can have devastating consequences on public safety.
As more people lose their lives to drugged drivers, law enforcement agencies all over the country are beefing up their prevention tactics. Old prevention laws and regulations are being revised to include stricter penalties. While law enforcement is cracking down, motorists should always be aware that other vehicle operators around them may be impaired and practice defensive driving for their own safety.