The dangers of drinking alcohol and driving are evident. While alcohol use prior to driving is still prevalent, this problem has been eclipsed by another worrisome issue – drugged driving. Statistics show that car crash fatalities are more likely to involve someone who was drugged rather than drunk.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility recently released a report showing that in 2015, 43 percent of those involved in fatal car accidents had been under the influence of some type of drug (legal or illegal), compared to 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for alcohol use.
Drugged driving is on the rise in Michigan and other states. Many motorists are unaware that they are even intoxicated. Police officers find it challenging to handle situations in which a driver is intoxicated by drugs – particularly prescription drugs – since there is no telltale odor, unlike alcohol usage. Very few officers are trained on what exactly they should be looking for.
Therefore, it’s possible you could be falsely accused of being intoxicated even though you are sober. If this has happened to you, preserve your freedom by contacting a Lansing DUI lawyer at DeBruin Law. Call us today at (517) 324-4303.
The Study Shows Drugged Driving is on the Rise
2015 was the first year in which drugged driving surpassed drunk driving. Of those who tested positive for drug use, more than 30 percent had used marijuana. Nine percent has used amphetamines.
Many factors are contributing to the increase in drugged driving. More and more people are dealing with multiple medical conditions and are often prescribed multiple drugs. Heroin and prescription drug abuse is on the rise. In addition, 29 states now allow marijuana use to some degree, which means that many more people are driving while under the influence.
Michigan Drugged Driving Law
Driving while intoxicated in illegal in all 50 states. Michigan’s law states that a person cannot legally drive while intoxicated. Intoxication is defined as being under the influence of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or an intoxicating substance. This means that intoxication by any substance, including controlled substances, is illegal while driving.
There are five schedules of controlled substances in Michigan. Drugs listed in Schedule I and II can greatly affect bodily function and have a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use and include marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote. Schedule II drugs include narcotics and stimulants such as hydromorphone, hydrocodone, methadone, oxycodone, morphine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, codeine, and opium. Michigan has a zero tolerance law against these types of drugs. This means that you can be convicted of a DUI even if you have just a trace amount of any of these substances in your system.
Have You Been Accused of Drugged Driving?
Drugged driving is not easy to detect. If a police officer failed to properly test you to determine if there were drugs in your system – but accused you of being intoxicated anyway – you may be able to fight your charges.
A DUI conviction comes with serious penalties. You could be dealing with the consequences for decades. A Lansing DUI lawyer from DeBruin Law can help protect your legal rights. Schedule a consultation today by calling (517) 324-4303.