Do you think you can only get a DUI in New Jersey if you are driving while drunk? Think again. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, this refers to alcohol and/or drugs, including those prescribed by a doctor. Drivers who are unaware of the consequences of taking drugs and getting behind the wheel can contribute to major accidents that result in injuries and even death.

According to the Washington Post, drugged driving has become a bigger problem than drunk driving over the last few years. Some of the drugs that have been linked to fatal accidents include marijuana, amphetamines and opioids. While studies show a direct correlation between drugged driving and crashes, there are some challenges related to enforcing the law. One challenge is that many drug users do not think their driving is impaired when they use drugs, and this prevents them from not driving when under the influence. Another big challenge is there is no criteria for roadside testing and by the time a blood test is taken the drug may have metabolized, skewing the results of real-time driving affect.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence discusses how legal and illegal drugs cause driver impairment. When used irresponsibly, taking them can negatively affect:

  • Judgment
  • Memory
  • Perception of time and speed
  • Motor skills
  • Attentiveness

Teenage drivers are at an even higher risk for accidents when they use drugs or alcohol. Their loss of cognitive abilities combines with their lack of driving experience, and the results can be tragic.