Drugged Driving Trend
Statistics have been compiled by the federal government showing the number of people fatally injured driving with drugs in their system is increasing. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted a five-year study. It shows that drivers killed in accidents, who tested positive for drugs like cocaine, increased over 12 percent during this period. In Illinois, the figure was more than a 20 percent increase during the same time period.
Driver Chemical Testing
Law enforcement in Illinois are able to order chemical testing of individuals they suspect driving under the influence of drugs. They will utilize the law of implied consent on Illinois roads. When driving on Illinois roads, the state designates a driver as automatically providing consent for the privilege of driving there. Should law enforcement in Illinois believe they have probable cause to test a driver for being under the influence of alcohol or chemicals, the testing involved must be done by authorized individuals who follow established police procedures. A driver who refuses such testing could automatically have their license suspended.
In Illinois, laws covering a person driving under the influence of drugs could involve a variety of substance combinations. In many cases, a person convicted of drugged-driving will be charged with a misdemeanor. Should the driver be under the influence of drugs such as cocaine and have an accident involving a death, their DUI charge will be classified as aggravated and then considered a felony.
Cocaine Effects On Driving
The NHTSA has compiled statistics concerning the influence of cocaine on drivers. Even when low amounts are consumed, it can result in an individual experiencing performance-related effects. Cocaine will impact their attention span, alertness as well as reaction time and more. Studies have shown individuals taking cocaine will feel as if they’re more alert. The drug can enable someone to experience an increase in attention and focus. Some believe this makes them better drivers but use of cocaine also increases their chances of being involved in an accident. Individuals under the influence of cocaine have an increased desire to take risks and a decreased ability to control their impulse behavior.
Duration Of Effects Of Cocaine
The faster cocaine can be absorbed into a person’s system; the more intense and quick they will experience a high. When an individual injects cocaine into their system, they will experience the effects within 30 seconds. When cocaine is smoked, it creates almost an instant and intense high which will last for up to 15 minutes. If a person snorts cocaine, they will experience the same thing. It’s possible for a person to experience the effects of cocaine for up to two hours based on the amount they have put into their system.
In order to obtain a conviction for driving under the influence of cocaine in Illinois, a prosecutor must prove a person had cocaine in their system when driving or in control of the vehicle. It must be proven the driver was under the influence of cocaine and it caused them to not drive safely.
If a driver tests positive for any amount of a controlled substance or intoxicating compound such as cocaine and more, the state of Illinois will assume the driver was under its influence when they were operating their vehicle. It is possible for a driver to be charged with breaking a strict-liability crime.
Drug Recognition Expert
In many cases, prosecutors will have a challenge to find evidence that validates an arrest for cocaine DUI. Prosecutors in this situation have come to depend on a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). In many cases, this is an individual working in law enforcement with specialized training. This training makes them qualified to determine if a person was under the influence of cocaine or another drug when driving. In some cases, it is possible for a DRE to visit a traffic stop or accident scene to determine if someone is under the influence of a controlled substance. When cross-examined by an attorney for the defense, the DRE will be asked to describe the science that supports their conclusions. This can be a challenge for even the most experienced DRE.
The Illinois laws covering driving under the influence of cocaine are harsh. Should an individual be tested and it shows they have cocaine in their system while driving, they can be charged with a crime. This is a very serious situation that will require the help of an experienced attorney. These legal professionals will know how to obtain the best possible result for their client’s situation.