A new report released this week found deaths caused by driving while under the influence of drugs surpassed those deaths caused by driving while under the influence of alcohol in 2015.
The report entitled “Drug-Impaired Driving” found that positive drug tests were more common than the presence of alcohol in fatally injured drivers. According to the report, 43 percent of those motorist who died had drugs in their systems while only 37 percent of those who died tested positive for alcohol.
Unfortunately, drug impairment can be difficult to measure because not all drugs affect all drivers in the same way. According to the report, hundreds of drugs can impair drivers and while some drugs that impair drivers are illegal, many are legal to use, at least under certain situations and are often available over-the-counter at many stores.
Out of those drivers tested in crashes, 35.6 percent tested positive for marijuana, 9.3 percent were positive for amphetamine, 7.4 percent were positive for a drug not on the FARS list and 55.1 percent tested positive for another drug.
Complicating matters, it is more difficult for law enforcement to test for drug impairment at the roadside than for alcohol impairment.
Many drugs and their effect on a driving and crash risks are quite complex and not well understood. Due to this, it is very difficult to prosecute and convict a driver for a DUID than for alcohol-impaired driving.
If you are facing driving under the influence charges stemming from drug presence, it is imperative to speak with our experienced Portland criminal defense attorneys today. Call now for your free, initial consultation.