Wisconsin drivers should keep in mind that others on the road might be under the influence of drugs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2014, 1 in 5 drivers tested positive for drugs. Furthermore, the agency also reported that college students tend to drive while drunk and drugged in roughly equal numbers. Traffic fatalities are up as well.
Some states are seeing a rise in heroin and opioid addiction, and informally, some law enforcement officials have reported more incidents of people overdosing while behind the wheel. With a drug like heroin, which sends its users into withdrawal if they do not get regular doses, people may be in their vehicles when it is time for more.
On social media, photos and videos have also been shared of drivers who have overdosed. However, alcohol remains the bigger danger because drinking and driving is still more common overall.
A conviction on an operating under the influence charge can result in serious legal, personal and career consequences. A conviction could result in people losing their license, paying a fine, having to install an ignition interlock device on their car, or going to jail. While even a first offense can be serious, a second, third or later offense may carry severe penalties. Therefore, people facing such a charge might want to talk to an attorney about their situation. A plea bargain may allow them to plead guilty to a lesser offense with less harsh penalties. If an attorney discovers an irregularity in how the traffic stop was conducted, the case could be dismissed altogether.