Drug use a factor in vehicle accident

Operating a vehicle while under the influence of an illicit drug is occurring more frequently in Illinois and the rest of the country. According to a recent national survey, 10 million people who were age 12 or older admitted to consuming illicit drugs before driving. In Riverside, there has been a 900 percent increase in the last year in the arrests of individuals who are drugged and driving.

One example of driving while drugged in Riverside involved a vehicle crash that occurred on Dec. 23 at around 6:30 p.m. Police responding to the two-vehicle crash in the 2900 block of Harlem Avenue discovered the driver of one of the vehicles, a 39-year-old Chicago man, behaving in an erratic manner.

The driver was given a Breathalyzer test, which showed no presence of alcohol in his system. The pulses and eyes of both drivers were also tested. A police officer on the scene determined that the 39-year-old driver was on drugs. The driver later admitted to consuming Xanax, taking heroine and smoking marijuana before the crash.

Police discovered in the driver's vehicle cut straws, three bags of heroin, Xanax, a bottle of cannabis and other items used to take heroin. He was charged with three felonies, including driving under the influence, possession of cannabis and the possession of heroin. The driver faces numerous traffic infractions as well.

Being charged and convicted of a drug offense, such as drug possession, can result in penalties that can adversely affect an individual for the rest of their life. A criminal defense lawyer may to attempt have drug charges dropped or reduced. The attorney may also negotiate a plea deal or engage in litigation during a trial.

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