Home»Car Accident Injuries»Drugged driving is a growing danger

Drugged driving is a growing danger

When people hear the term “drugged driver” they automatically think of impairment caused by illegal drugs. But illegal drugs are not the only substances that impair drivers. It is now more common for many people using prescription or over-the-counter medications to be driving under these dangerous conditions.

Drivers using illicit drugs or the misuse of prescription drugs can make driving a car unsafe – exactly like driving after drinking alcohol. The rapidly growing number of incidents of drugged driving puts drivers, their passengers, and others who share the same road at serious risk.

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, 20.7 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 11.8 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs.

Drivers need to understand the serious risks of driving impaired and especially under the influence of prescription drugs. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs like Ambien, Vicodin, codeine, OxyContin, Xanax and Tramadol is a serious risk. If you have been prescribed these medications, it is essential to consult your doctor before operating a vehicle.

Drugged Driving Statistics

The number of drivers using illicit drugs or misusing prescription drugs continues to climb each year. Did you know that:

  • According to Ohio Department of Transportation trafficcrash statistics, Ohio has seen a 25% increase in drugged driving crashes since 2012.
  • There were 3,574 drugged driving crashes in 2016, which accounted for about 33% of all impaired driving crashes.
  • 43% of fatally-injured drivers with a known test result tested positively for drugs, more frequently than when alcohol was present.
  • DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) testing is difficult and complex. There are 430 specific drugs or metabolites in the national highway safety fatality database. In 2015, nationwide, 57% of fatally-injured drivers were tested for drugs. Of those tested:
    • 6% tested for marijuana
    • 3% tested for amphetamine
    • 1% tested for other
    • 4% tested for drugs not in the FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) list

Ohio Drugged Driving Laws

Ohio’s drugged driving law can be found in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19. The law states that no person shall operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.

Ohio has what is known as a per se (also known as a “zero tolerance”) prohibition against drugged driving if the driver, while driving, has specific amounts of certain controlled substances in his or her body.

Contrada & Associates Can Help

At Contrada & Associates, we use the resources available to us to vigorously represent people injured by drugged drivers. If you or a loved one was a victim of a car accident in Ohio, let Contrada & Associates help you.

Call the Toledo-area office of Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced car accident attorneys. We offer hospital and home consultations if you cannot make it to our office.

Written by

Attorney Charlie Contrada has been practicing law since 1979, focusing his career on personal injury, car accident, and mesothelioma cases. Over the years, Charlie has helped thousands of clients throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to receive the settlements that they deserve.