As a reputed criminal defense lawyer in West Virginia, responsible for various kinds of DUI cases, I am not surprised how alcohol and drug-induced driving is posing a problem across the state.
Personally, I have written a number of blogs on the dangerous consequences of drinking and driving along with the severe effects of getting behind the wheel after smoking marijuana. I have also warned many people about doctor-prescribed medications and asked them to be careful when they are driving under the influence of such medicines. For, if you lose consciousness while driving in such unsafe conditions, you can totally be convicted of a DUI offense.
The only thing that I haven’t written about is the rampant spread of heroin addiction in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia which has prompted the police in Huntington to call this an “epidemic” of opiate-related DUI arrests. This issue is no longer only affecting the drug addicts but it has a devastating impact on even unborn babies. Infants are being born opioid addicts. The police of Huntington have declared that until this year, about forty-five percent of the DUI arrests have been related to opiates.
According to some doctors and addiction specialists, the reason for this growing epidemic is related to the attitude towards addiction and the manner in which it is treated. Certain drugs like methadone and buprenorphine are effective in fighting cravings and reducing symptoms of withdrawal. But the addicts are more often referred to a 12-step or other spiritual-based treatment programs. For many people, substance abuse is a kind of weakness that a person may require in order to deal with their disease. Even medical community members believe that entrusting a drug that replaces the drug of abuse is actually a weakness.
West Virginia is showing some conscious efforts to fight the prejudice of treating addiction with the right kind of medication. However, some people are stubborn and stick to their own beliefs adamantly. According to law enforcement officials, these kinds of intoxicated drivers are quite easy to identify on the road. They are often found to be weaving in and out of the lane of traffic; sometimes they drive more slowly than required or simply keep sitting at a red light even long after the signal has gone green. There are also drug-recognition experts who are trained to determine whether any driver is drunk or is under the influence of a medicated pill or a serious drug like heroin.
Now, the police are considering new measures and more effective plans to deal with this issue. Being a successful criminal defense lawyer for so many years, I am always eager to hear such piece of news. And since DUI is a big part of my practice, I tend to follow this sort of news quite religiously.
Although I have said it before, I will repeat myself again. The new frontier of DUI enforcement is Drug DUIs.
If you are facing DUI charges related to heroin or prescription opioids or you know somebody who is, immediately contact an experienced attorney who can work with you or him with a treatment program that uses medications to battle out the addiction problem.