Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


In wake of rising problem with drug driving, agency launches ads

Many agree that the problem with drugged driving has gotten worse over recent years. Although not necessarily a smoking gun, one piece of evidence to this point is that, in 2016, of drivers who died in fatal car accidents, 44 percent had drugs in their systems. In 2006, this number was only 28 percent.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA, a federal agency, has in response to this problem started a nationwide ad campaign in order to bring awareness to the issue of drugged driving. The "Drive high, get a DUI" campaign is currently full swing and will remain so through Labor Day.

Indeed, especially with the growing acceptance of marijuana as a legitimate recreational drug, law enforcers have had their hands full trying to keep up with the challenges that drugged driving presents.

For one, the priority traditionally has been on dealing with drunk driving, and so more officers need to be trained on how to spot drugged drivers and to distinguish them from those who are drunk or simply suffering from some of legitimate condition.

Moreover, it is harder for objective tests, like a blood draw, to determine conclusively whether a person was under the influence of drugs. This is because some drugs, including marijuana, stay in a person's system for days or even weeks.

While one can hope that Killeen, Texas, residents will get the message about avoiding drugged driving, there will no doubt be some who choose to put the lives of others at risk. Should these people actually cause an accident, a victim may be able to pursue compensation from them.

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