While drunk driving gets significant attention from traffic safety advocates, the danger of driving under the influence of drugs is spoken about less often. However, getting behind the wheel when you have taken certain prescription drugs or any illegal drugs can lead to extremely serious consequences, including fines, jail time, serious criminal charges, car accident injuries, and even death. Just like alcohol many drunks can lead to impaired coordination, longer reaction times, confusion, and poor judgment. In the case above, it can even lead to a loss of consciousness.
In addition to illegal drugs, drivers should also understand that even legal prescription drugs can affect your driving – and that you are responsible for understand the affects of a prescription drug on your body and mind. Most prescription drugs will list on the bottle whether they cause drowsiness or whether those taking the drugs should operate vehicles; however, you should always take a prescription drug without driving first so that you can observe how you feel and what affect the drug has on you.
The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs – including prescription drugs, marijuana, cocaine, crack, meth, or heroin – are the very similar in Washington State as the penalties for driving while drunk. While drugs cannot be detected by a breathalyzer, they can be detected in a blood or urine test in the hours after the accident.