24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Client Testimonials



The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

schedule a consultation


Accidents Caused by Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

March 27, 2024

The Dangers and Legal Consequences of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Driving under the influence of drugs poses a serious threat to public safety. Drugs, both legal and illegal, can significantly impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. This article will explore the dangers of drugged driving, the legal consequences for those caught driving under the influence, and what to do if you or a loved one is facing charges.

The Prevalence of Drugged Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, 12.6 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of illicit drugs. This represents 4.7% of the population in that age group. The most commonly used drugs among drivers were marijuana (12.5 million people) and cocaine (2.3 million people).study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that between 2007 and 2018, the percentage of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for drugs increased from 25% to 42%. This alarming trend highlights the growing problem of drugged driving on our roads.

How Drugs Impair Driving Ability

Different drugs affect the brain and body in different ways, but all can impair driving ability to some degree. Here are some common ways drugs can impact driving:

  • Slowed reaction time – Drugs can slow down a person’s reflexes and reaction time, making it harder to respond quickly to changing road conditions or unexpected hazards. This increases the risk of accidents.
  • Impaired judgment – Drugs can alter a person’s perception and decision-making abilities. This can lead to risky behaviors like speeding, weaving between lanes, or ignoring traffic signals.
  • Drowsiness – Some drugs, particularly opioids and benzodiazepines, can cause extreme drowsiness. Falling asleep at the wheel is a major cause of accidents.
  • Impaired coordination – Drugs can affect a person’s motor skills and coordination. This makes it difficult to steer, brake, or perform other driving maneuvers safely.

As one Quora user put it, “Drugs mess with your brain chemistry. They make you think, feel, and react differently than you normally would. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

Legal Consequences of Drugged Driving

Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal in all 50 states. The specific laws and penalties vary by jurisdiction, but generally, a drugged driving conviction can result in:

  • Fines
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Jail time
  • Mandatory drug education or treatment
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Increased insurance rates

In some states, drugged driving is prosecuted under the same laws as drunk driving. In others, there are separate statutes specifically targeting driving under the influence of drugs.According to FindLaw, proving drugged driving can be more challenging than drunk driving because there is no standardized test for drug impairment like there is for alcohol (i.e., the breathalyzer). However, police officers are trained to recognize signs of drug impairment and may call in a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to perform a more thorough evaluation.

Defenses Against Drugged Driving Charges

If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of drugs, it’s essential to consult with an experienced DUI attorney. They can review the specifics of your case and advise you on potential defenses. Some common defenses against drugged driving charges include:

  • Challenging the traffic stop – If the police did not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place, any evidence gathered during the stop may be inadmissible in court.
  • Questioning the drug test results – Drug tests are not always reliable and can produce false positives. Your attorney may challenge the validity or accuracy of the test.
  • Arguing involuntary intoxication – If you ingested a drug without your knowledge (e.g., someone spiked your drink), you may be able to argue that your intoxication was involuntary.
  • Proving the drugs did not impair your driving – The mere presence of drugs in your system is not enough to convict you of drugged driving. The prosecution must prove that the drugs actually impaired your ability to drive safely.

As one Reddit user advised, “Get a lawyer ASAP. Don’t talk to the police without your lawyer present. Be honest with your lawyer about everything so they can build the best defense for you.”

What to Do If You’re Involved in a Drugged Driving Accident

If you are involved in an accident caused by a drugged driver, the first priority is ensuring everyone’s safety and seeking medical attention for any injuries. Once the immediate danger has passed, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Call the police and file an accident report. Be sure to tell the responding officer if you suspect the other driver was under the influence of drugs.
  2. Gather evidence at the scene if it is safe to do so. Take photos of the damage, get contact information for any witnesses, and jot down your recollection of what happened.
  3. Seek medical care, even if you don’t think you were seriously injured. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical record will be important for any future insurance claims or legal action.
  4. Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
  5. Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney, especially if you suffered significant injuries or property damage. An attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you receive fair compensation.

According to Lawinfo, if the drugged driver is convicted of DUI, you may be able to use that conviction as evidence of negligence in a civil lawsuit to recover damages.

Preventing Drugged Driving

The best way to avoid the dangers and legal consequences of drugged driving is simply not to do it. If you are taking any medication, read the label carefully and heed any warnings about operating heavy machinery. If you are unsure whether a drug could impair your driving, err on the side of caution and find an alternative mode of transportation.As this Forbes article emphasizes, “If you’re impaired by any substance, do not get behind the wheel. Designate a sober driver, call a taxi or rideshare service, or stay where you are until you’re no longer under the influence.”

The Bottom Line

Driving under the influence of drugs is dangerous, illegal, and simply not worth the risk. It puts not only your own life in jeopardy but also the lives of everyone else on the road.If you or someone you love is facing drugged driving charges, the most important thing you can do is seek experienced legal counsel. A skilled DUI attorney can guide you through the legal process and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.Remember, the decisions you make today can have profound consequences for your future. Choose wisely, drive responsibly, and stay safe on the roads.

Lawyers You Can Trust

Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

view profile



view profile


Associate Attorney

view profile



view profile



view profile



view profile



view profile

Criminal Defense Lawyers Trusted By the Media

schedule a consultation
Schedule Your Consultation Now