Every driver knows that driving drunk is dangerous and illegal. And most people are familiar with the signs that a driver is drunk, from slurred speech to erratic movements or swerving behind the wheel.
However, there is another problem that is just as dangerous as driving drunk: drugged driving. Unfortunately, people are less familiar with the signs of a driver impaired by drugs, and testing for this type of impairment can take longer and be more complicated than testing for intoxication.
Because of this, Ohio law enforcement agencies are working to improve their drug recognition resources. Recently, hundreds of Ohio officers completed training to become Drug Recognition Experts who can identify signs that a driver is under the influence of marijuana, opioids, cocaine and other dangerous substances.
So, what do these experts look for?
There are numerous signs that a person may be impaired by drugs, including:
- A person’s behavior
- Slow or rapid pulse
- Slurred or incoherent speech patterns
- Certain types of eye movement, like an inability to cross the eyes
- Pupil size
- Presence of an injection site
- Muscle rigidity
Identifying these and other signs can lead a DRE to believe a person is impaired by drugs. This information can be crucial in the aftermath of an accident involving the allegedly impaired driver, which is why it is important to call police after an accident.
Unfortunately, the issue of drugged driving is not going away. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal accidents involving a drugged driver have increased in the last 20 years.
If you are involved in an accident with a driver who may have been impaired by drugs at the time, you may want to explore your legal options, particularly if you experienced severe physical injuries or non-economic damages.