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A disturbing increase in drugged driving

Some Georgia drivers might be on the road while under the influence of drugs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of drivers tested positive for drugs in 2014. Informally, law enforcement is seeing an increase in opioid overdoses and drugged drivers. Some Midwestern and Pacific Northwest areas in particular are seeing a rise in the use of heroin and opioids.

Some drivers are overdosing while behind the wheel. One issue with heroin addicts is that they must time their intake of drugs in order to avoid going into withdrawal, and they may be in the car at that time.

The NHTSA says that according to a 2011 study, college students were roughly as likely to drive drugged as they were to drive drunk. Furthermore, the agency reported that in the first three quarters of 2015, the prevalence of traffic fatalities increased more than 9 percent from the comparable period in the previous year, and the trend continued in 2016.

Convictions on driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have serious consequences. These may include license suspension, fines or jail time. However, a person might exhibit signs of being under the influence for other reasons, such as a medical condition or having a bad reaction to a medication. If a Breathalyzer test is not administered correctly, it could also give false results. An attorney might concentrate on these points for defense or may argue that the client's rights were not properly observed during the traffic stop. It may be possible to have the charges dropped entirely. In other cases, a plea bargain could result in a reduced charge in exchange for fewer penalties.

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