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More drivers are testing positive for drugs compared to alcohol

At Allen Wellman Harvey Keyes Cooley, LLP, we understand how seriously Indiana views offenses for driving under the influence or operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A DUI or OWI conviction could affect your job and your future. While some non-alcoholic substances in your system may be legal, test results might still show presence of the substance or a metabolite in the body, which could result in a drug-related charge. You may require a strong legal defense to counteract the accusations against you and to avoid a severe punishment. 

As reported by Fox59, drug offenses may include both illegal substances and medications prescribed by a doctor. While many prescriptions come with warnings, individuals may unknowingly combine them with alcohol or other substances that could result in dangerous impairment levels. Data compiled by researchers from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute reveals that drivers in fatal car crashes tested positive more for drugs than for alcohol impairment. 

According to the data, 90 Indiana drivers fatally injured in vehicle crashes showed positive test results for drugs in 2017. This is in contrast to the 69 fatally injured drivers impaired by alcohol that same year. Although test data is incomplete for 2018, it already demonstrates a higher ratio of positive drug results than alcohol. 

With the increasing usage of prescription drugs, a growing number of motorists are showing positive test results for controlled substances during traffic stops and accident investigations. This may lead to an accompanying significant increase in OWI convictions. As also reported by Fox59, a trauma surgeon at St. Vincent Trauma Center in Indianapolis warns that legally prescribed medications carry the potential to produce dire outcomes for motorists if a doctor’s advice is not fully heeded. 

Because there are more motorists driving while impaired, the Hoosier State is training and certifying law enforcement officials to recognize possible drug-impaired drivers. Our page on DUI/OWI charges provides more information on your rights to an aggressive legal defense strategy.