Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Double Dangers of Drugged and Drunk Driving

It was revealed in a 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that there are around 10 million people who drive while under the influence of illicit drugs.

On Jan. 19, 2007, 28-year old Ryan Karr of Windsor was seen by witnesses driving at the speed of 70 mph during rush-hour traffic before he crashed his Mitsubishi Eclipse against a stopped Honda bearing 6 people.

Trapped inside the burning car, Maria Lopez Camacho, 54; Edith Carlos Medina, 23 and her son, Fernando Carlos, 7; Almadelia Mendera-Basurto, 16; and Carmina Solorio, 23, of Mexico were killed in the crash.

4-year-old Christian Flores Carlos survived the fiery crash but was badly burned and lost his arm and leg.

Karr allegedly worried more about the damage to his car than rescuing the victims.

According to the California Highway Patrol Officer Heather Bushey, he also did poorly on the field sobriety test where he was unable to keep his balance and failed to count correctly. Karr was also indicated to have glassy eyes.

The results from a blood sample which he gave revealed that he had consumed pot or coke within 4 to failed 8 hours of the crash. There was also a marijuana pipe found inside his car.

Karr is facing charges of five felony and five misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter and a count of driving under the influence of drugs and may face up to more than 6 years in state prison if convicted.

The Institute for Behavior and Health estimate that 20% of motor vehicle accidents were caused by drugged driving.

Drugged driving may in fact, soon become bigger than drunk driving as a recent survey showed that drugs were present 7 times more frequently than alcohol among weekend nighttime drivers in the U.S.

At least 16% were tested positive for drugs as compared to 2% of the drivers who tested at or above the legal limit for alcohol.

What’s worse about the rising incidence of drugged drivers is the fact that drugged drivers are also more likely to be drunk. In a research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many drivers who tested positive for alcohol also tested positive for marijuana.

This makes drunk and drugged drivers, doubly dangerous.