When many people hear that someone has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), they often think that someone got behind the wheel of their car while intoxicated from alcohol. However, countless individuals are charged with DWI/DUI after driving under the influence of over-the-counter remedies, prescription medications or illegal drugs.
Data published by the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2015 captured how 43% of those fatally-wounded motorists who were tested that year had drugs in their systems. The researchers found that drug usage among these decedents was far more common than alcohol use. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported 1,342 drug-related crashes in 2014. Those accidents resulted in 753 individuals’ injuries and 21 fatalities.
Law enforcement agencies in Statesville and throughout all of North Carolina are aggressive in stopping motorists suspected of DWI/DUI. They do this because they know how much drug use can impact a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle.
Opiates can cause a motorist to have a slow response to different stimuli. Anyone who uses such drugs may experience confusion, have poor coordination or visual acuity or may have difficulty staying awake.
A motorist who gets behind the wheel of their car after smoking marijuana may also have a delayed reaction to different stimuli. They may experience inattentiveness, have poor motor skills and an inability to gauge distance or the passage of time.
Individuals who consume stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine may resort to driving recklessly, take more risks than they should, become aggressive or easily confused. They may also have difficulty with coordination and experience a visual decline.
Benzodiazepines can cause a motorist to become drowsy or dizzy, affect their perception of objects around them or find it hard to remember things. They may also develop coordination problems and thus have delayed reaction times to different stimuli.
If you’ve been stopped and arrested on suspicion of DWI/DUI then you should consult with a lawyer. They can advise you of your rights in your case. If it appears that your matter is going to trial, then your DWI/DUI attorney can advise you of potential defense strategies that you can pursue in your case.