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Is drugged driving as common as drunk driving?

When you hear people talk about the driving dangers, they’ll often mention distracted, drunk and fatigued driving. People don’t often speak about the risks of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. It’s a big problem, however.

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse contends that drug use can make operating a motor vehicle just as unsafe as it can be after alcohol consumption.

NIH data shows that marijuana is the primary drug toxicologists find evidence of when analyzing drivers’ blood test results. Their research also captures how motorists who test positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their blood often also have traces of alcohol in their system.

Researchers have found that a motorist’s marijuana consumption can lead them to experience delayed reaction times, become inattentive and weave in and out of traffic lanes. The data has led researchers to conclude that motorists who consume marijuana and alcohol together are more apt to experience lane weaving than those who only use one of these substances.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data from 2018 shows that there were as many as 12.6 million motorists age 16 or older who operated their vehicle after consuming drugs that year. At least 20.5 million drivers drank alcohol before getting behind the wheel that same year.

Federal statistics show that the largest number of motorists who get behind their car’s wheel while either drunk or drugged are those ages 21 to 25. That same data shows that men are more apt to drive under the influence of either alcohol or drugs than women.

Anything that impairs a motorist’s ability to think is hazardous to the rest of us out on the roads. A driver who operates their vehicle with multiple distractions puts both their’s and everyone else’s life at risk. One of the best things you can do if you suffer injuries or lost a loved one in a Baton Rouge crash is to consult with an attorney. Your lawyer will let you know if Louisiana law allows you to sue the intoxicated motorist who forever altered your life.

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