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Baby Boomers Driving Under The Influence of Drugs?

Prescription Abuse:  Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

under the influence of drugsA new study released from the Public Health Report shows that since 1993, the types of drivers who commit DUIDDriving Under the Influence of Drugs – has increased significantly.

Drivers that commit DUID are more likely to be 50 and older, according to the study, and are most likely to test positive for either prescription drugs or marijuana.

“While we’ve seen a decrease over the years in motor vehicle fatalities involving people under the influence, the nature of those crashes is changing,” said study author Fernando Wilson, PhD, associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The study, funded by the Public Health Law Research Program, examined the characteristics of drivers who committed DUID, from 1993 to 2010. In that time, the percentage of drivers committing DUID with three or more drugs in their systems nearly doubled, from 11.5% to 21.5%.

“In 1993, about 1 in 8 drivers were using multiple drugs concurrently. By 2010, it was closer to 1 in 5. That’s a large increase in drug use,” Wilson said.

“Beyond that, we’re also seeing more and more people using drugs and alcohol together. About 70 percent of drivers who tested positive for cocaine had also been consuming alcohol, and almost 55 percent of drivers who tested positive for cannabis also had alcohol in their systems,” he explained.

The study also noted that 39% of prescription drug DUIDs involved drivers 50 years of age or older; in contrast, 60% of the marijuana-only DUID drivers were 30 or younger.

Prescription drugs are being prescribed more often for more illnesses or injuries, according to recent statistics, and many believe that this increase has created an epidemic of painkiller addicts, who are more often now switching to heroin when their prescription drug sources run dry. Many new prescription drug addicts are older, because painkillers and other potent drugs are often prescribed to this age group.

“These trends are likely to continue into the future given the aging U.S. population, an increasing reliance on prescription medications by medical providers, and increasing initiatives to legalize marijuana” Wilson said. “However, it is unclear whether current state policies are completely up to the challenge of addressing the growing issue of drugged driving.”

According to the study, 90% of people aged 65 and older have prescriptions for potent drugs like narcotic painkillers.

Currently, 18 states have a “zero tolerance” policy for DUID crimes.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUID Charges

In South Carolina, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of prescribed or over-the counter drugs or medication in addition to driving while under the influence of illicit drugs. States are under pressure to tighten laws for convicting DUIDs and set clear legal definitions. For now, DUID lawyers may have more opportunities for reducing and expunging driving under the influence of drug charges. Note: A DUID that involved illicit drugs may have other criminal drug charges attached.

If you face DUI charges, BUI charges, or DUID charges, whether it is your first charge, or felony DUI, you could feel alone and afraid. Just because you have received DUI charges does not automatically mean that you are guilty. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have helped people who face DUI charges since 1996. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us for help today. 803.252.4800

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