Illinois residents have certainly heard stories about drivers impaired after drinking alcohol or using marijuana. However, authorities say that there is a growing trend involving drivers who use heroin or similar types of substances. According to the 2014 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 10 million people aged 12 and older admitted to driving while under the influence of illicit drugs such as heroin or meth.
One reason why so many motorists may be using these substances is because of the rise in addiction. Failure to use could result in withdrawal symptoms, which is why they may be less likely to wait until they get home before getting high. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, the rate of drugged driving is roughly the same as drunk driving among college students. Overall, NHSA data shows that there was a 9.3 percent increase in traffic deaths during the first nine months of 2015.
States such as Ohio, Michigan and Indiana have seen the largest increases in traffic deaths. Southern states such as Florida have also seen a marked increase in heroin and meth use among residents. The Pacific Northwest was another hot spot for drug use and traffic deaths.
Those who are charged with drunk or impaired driving may face a variety of penalties. However, an attorney may be able to help a driver avoid a jail sentence, fine or a license suspension. This may be done by casting doubt about the results of a breath test or any other test conducted after police made contact with the driver.