The recent statistics, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggest that drugged driving is a growing problem both on the roads of Oregon and the rest of the United States.
This is particularly a hot issue in Portland and other cities on the West Coast, as Oregon and its neighbors have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
At the same time, the number of traffic deaths related to drugged driving may be increasing. A study reported that in 2016, nearly 45 percent of drivers who died in car accidents had drugs in their systems, whereas this number was closed to 30 percent a decade ago.
As a previous post discussed, however one feels about marijuana use in general, it seems like pretty common knowledge that someone who is high is not going to be able to operate a vehicle safely. This may be one reason why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it was conducting an ad campaign between now and Labor Day.
The campaign slogan, “Drive high, get a DUI” serves to reinforce the point that drugged driving, just like drunk driving, is both dangerous and unacceptable behavior.
Although some think it is just a matter of time before law enforcement catches up with this trend, others have noted some difficulties detecting drugged driving. For one, more police officers need to be trained to be able to do some preliminary investigation specifically in to whether a driver is on drugs.
Furthermore, particularly in the case of marijuana, toxicology tests can only tell so much since drugs like marijuana stay in one’s system long after a high has subsided.
Still, a victim of a car accident so has reason to believe the other driver was drugged has legal options and should consider pursuing a claim for compensation.