Driving while under the influence of drugs has contributed to more traffic fatalities in Tennessee since 2015 than driving under the influence of alcohol. Dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is not limited to illegal substances. Using prescription drugs such as Xanax while driving may also impair a driver.
Of the 962 traffic fatalities in Tennessee in 2015, 312 involved a driver using drugs compared to 252 who were driving drunk. The Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network identifies a drug-related crash as one in which the driver tested positive for a controlled substance or one in which the officer on the scene reported drug use as a factor.
As a result of the growing rate of drug-related fatalities, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office has partnered with other safety organizations to start a new campaign called “Stop Drugged Driving”. This campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired by drugs.
Both drugged and drunk driving charges can be serious. People who are facing these types of charges might also face consequences in their career if they work in certain fields in addition to the potential of fines, license suspension and even jail time. Therefore, they might want to discuss their situation with an attorney. Even if there are Breathalyzer results that indicate a person was intoxicated, the test may have been administered incorrectly. Other conditions may make people appear that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is also necessary for police to respect people’s rights while they are detained, and if this is not done, there may be challenges or defenses that an experienced attorney can raise.