Driving under the influence (DUI) is most often associated with the consumption of alcohol. However, in recent years, drugged driving has become more of an epidemic and is the cause of many motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. Drugged driving refers to when a person is under the influence of illegal drugs or has misused over the counter medications or prescriptions. Drugged driving—or DUID—in Springfield, MO is a criminal offense. If you are charged with a DUI or DWI for drugged driving you could face increased fines, license suspension, and prison time.
Below we’ll tackle drugged driving facts, what drugs affect driving and how, along with potential legal repercussions a person may face if they are charged and convicted of drugged driving in Springfield, MO.
Drugged Driving Facts & Statistics
The following facts and statistics were found from a study done by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIH), which was revised in March of 2019:
- According to a 2017, National Survey on Drug and Health, 21. 4 million people who were sixteen years and older drove under the influence of alcohol and 12. 8 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Additionally, this survey showed that men were more likely than women to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Adults between 21 to 25 had a higher percentage of driving after taking drugs or drinking alcohol than adults aged 16 to 20 or adults 26 or older.
- While it’s difficult to measure precisely how many motor vehicle accidents are caused by drugged driving, studies show that nearly 44% of drivers who were involved in fatal car accidents tested positive for drugs.
How Drugs Affect Driving
Let’s take a look at what drugs affect driving and how:
- Marijuana (Cannabis) – Marijuana can cause a slow reaction time in drivers along with impairing a person’s ability to correctly judge time and distance, according to this article by NIH.
- Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Stimulants – These types of drugs can induce recklessness and erratic, aggressive behavior.
- Opioids – Opioids in the form of prescription drugs and heroin, have been known to impair memory and reasoning as well as drowsiness.
- Sedatives – Sedatives such as muscle relaxers or sleep aids can cause overall drowsiness and dizziness in drivers. Sedatives may also cause a person to hallucinate.
- Other Illicit Drugs – Other drugs such as LSD, MDMA, Ketamine, Ecstasy, Mushrooms, etc. can alter a person’s reality completely. All cognitive functions may be compromised if a person partakes in these types of drugs.
In addition to illegal drugs, it should be noted that over the counter and prescription medication can also be the reason that a person is charged with drugged driving in Springfield, MO. You can find more information about how these “legal” drugs can affect driving here.
Drugged Driving Laws in Missouri
As far as charges go for drugged driving in Missouri, when compared to driving under the influence of alcohol, the penalties are exactly the same as an alcohol-related DUI or DWI in Springfield. You may also hear a drugged driving charge referred to as a DUID (Driving Under The Influence of Drugs). Despite each of these charges being the same, Springfield drugged driving charges can be particularly frustrating. Currently, there are no set guidelines to determine what amount of a drug can be in a person’s system to illicit a drugged driving charge. What this means is that if you are found to have any amount of an illegal drug in your system that could compromise your driving, you could be charged with a drugged driving charge. If you are facing drugged driving charges in Springfield, your best defense is discussing your case with an experienced DUI attorney in Springfield. DUIDs can be trickier cases to deal with than a “run of the mill” driving under the influence of alcohol charge. In order to avoid a charge like this going onto your permanent record, call DWI Springfield today. Our legal team has handled hundreds of drugged driving cases and will provide you with the legal advice you need to come out on top.