Impaired driving due to overuse of prescription painkillers has reached epidemic proportions. News outlets in Buffalo, Rochester, New York and Arkansas have reported on proposals of Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Mark Pryor of Arkansas to fund police training to deal with overly drugged drivers. As an injury attorney handling truck accidents and car accidents I can tell you the problem needs to be addressed now.
Thousands of people who have never taken an illegal drug are developing terrible drug dependencies. The drugs are being prescribed for both traumatic injuries and for illnesses. The addiction know no boundaries, young and old, poor and affluent, city and suburban people have developed addictions.
Officers may not be able to rely on a typical field sobriety test the way they do with a drunken driver. I hope to provide details in a future blog, but there will be a growing awareness of this in the future. In the meantime, we can’t assume other drivers will follow the rules.