The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Led to More Drugged Drivers

The year 2020 was one that several generations of Americans will never forget. High stress, bereavement, domestic togetherness and spending more time at our homes that ever before has contributed to more family violence crimes, motor vehicle accidents and driving under the influence.

Sales of alcohol, drugs and CBD products escalated. Depression, stress, and the desire to calm down led many to imbibe and to use prescribed medication or other sources of relief to get through the past year.

Research shows that the number of OUI-DUI-DWI cases involving drug use across America has increased. In addition, two recent US Supreme Court cases, Missouri v. McNeely in 2013 and Birchfield v. North Dakota in 2016 have clarified when and how blood extractions for implied consent purposes are proper.

The significance of this legal shift is that states like Georgia are now requesting blood in more cases than breath, even when only alcohol is suspected. Yet, if the crime lab blood tests reveal a low level of ethanol (drinking alcohol), the samples are being re-tested from other drugs, and some drivers then face being impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs.

This quote from a new online article highlights that trend:

In addition to the distractions drivers already face on the road, compounded by the stress of COVID-19 and the resulting pandemic, other increasing driver trends are concerning — particularly in conjunction to drunk driving.

Drug use is also on the rise, with an increasing number of drivers climbing behind the wheel while impaired. Excluding alcohol, drug use is involved in about 16% of car crashes. The growing legalization of marijuana in many U.S. states has also led to a rise in marijuana-related crashes.

Compounding the Pandemic’s impact is the isolation that Mainers must deal with during winter. Tourism is a major industry in the Pine Tree State, and many jobs have been lost of relegated to paltry wages when travelers stay home.

The importance of knowing who is being impacted by Coronavirus stress has launched many studies, including one for people already suffering from pre-existing mental health disorders before the Pandemic of 2020 started.  The findings, reported in The Lancet, are interesting:

The number and chronicity of disorders showed a positive graded dose–response relation, with greater perceived impact on mental health, fear, and poorer coping. Although people with depressive, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorders scored higher on all four symptom scales than did individuals without these mental health disorders, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they did not report a greater increase in symptoms during the pandemic. In fact, people without depressive, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorders showed a greater increase in symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas individuals with the greatest burden on their mental health tended to show a slight symptom decrease.

Do You Need an Experienced Maine OUI Attorney Near Me?

When a person is facing criminal charges, you need the services of a 24-hour lawyer near me. Webb Law Firm brings a solid reputation in southern Maine for criminal defense law.

Contact the Webb Law Office for an attorney free consultation near me, Call today at 207-283-6400 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Meet with the best criminal lawyer near me for either domestic violence allegations or operating under the influence, Due to the potential punishment a criminal conviction can bring, do not squander your chance to avoid criminal conviction.

Or you may reach out to Maine Attorney John Webb or his two associate criminal lawyers near me in southern Maine (see map below) by using our convenient online contact form. At either of our two law office locations in Portland or Saco, our litigation team offers free lawyer consultations.

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