What Is Drugged Driving?

Our Vernon County Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jason L. McCoy, LLC Can Help

It is common knowledge that driving while under the influence of alcohol is irresponsible, dangerous, and against the law. However, alcohol is not the only substance that causes impairments. There is a wide range of drugs that can impact your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, from marijuana, cocaine, and heroin to certain prescription and over-the-counter medications like opioids and sedatives. Depending on the type of drug that you take, it can cause a range of impairments, including decreased coordination, slower reaction times, or aggressive and reckless driving behavior. If you get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of the intoxicating effect of drug use, you put yourself and other motorists in the vicinity at risk for a serious car accident.

How Common Is Drugged Driving?

According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 11.7 million people admitted that they drove while under the influence of certain illicit drugs, including marijuana. The survey also found that men are more likely to drive while under the influence of drugs than women. Adults between the ages of 21 and 25 are more likely to drive after taking drugs than younger drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 and drivers older than 26.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to measure exactly how many car accidents are caused by drugged driving for the following reasons:

  • Effective and reliable roadside tests are not yet available.
  • Certain drugs remain in the system for days or weeks after use. This makes it difficult to determine when the drug was used and whether it caused the driver to be impaired.
  • If a driver has already been tested for blood alcohol level (BAC), police may not test for drugs if the BAC is above the legal limit and they have enough evidence for a DUI charge.
  • Often, impaired drivers who cause car accidents have drugs and alcohol in their systems. This makes it challenging to know which substance caused the greatest impairment.

What Drugs Are Most Commonly Associated With Drugged Driving?

Second only to alcohol, marijuana is the most common drug found in impaired drivers who are involved in car accidents. A simple blood test will detect levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the blood. THC is the chemical that is responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. While marijuana can give you a relaxed and even euphoric feeling, high doses can cause paranoia and psychosis, causing you to see or hear things that are not there, which is extremely dangerous if you are behind the wheel. Studies have shown that motorists who had THC in their system were roughly twice as likely to cause a fatal car accident than motorists who did not have drugs or alcohol in their system. In addition to marijuana, prescription medications are also commonly associated with drugged driving accidents.

Our Vernon County Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jason L. McCoy, LLC Can Help

If you were injured in a drugged driving crash, contact our Vernon County car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Jason L. McCoy, LLC as soon as possible. We will discuss the details of your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 860-872-7741 or contact us online. Located in Vernon, New Haven, and Waterbury, Connecticut, we serve clients in Tolland County, New Haven County, and Hartford County.