As a West Virginia criminal defense lawyer who handles myriad DUI cases, it’s not lost on me that alcohol and drug-fueled driving is a problem throughout the state.
I personally have written many blogs about the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as the dangers of smoking marijuana and getting behind the wheel. I’ve even warned folks to be careful when taking doctor-prescribed medications and driving – because if you get busted driving in an unsafe manner, you can absolutely be charged with a DUI.
What I haven’t written about was how rampant heroin addiction in wild and wonderful West Virginia has spurred what police in Huntington have called an “epidemic” of opiate-related DUI arrests.
So far this year, Huntington police said 45 percent of DUI arrests have been opiate-related.
And law enforcement officials there have said those types of intoxicated drivers are easy to spot: They weave in and out of their lane of traffic, they drive more slowly than is reasonable, they sit idle at a red light long after the signal has blinked over to green.
They also have the drug-recognition experts trained to be able to determine if a driver is under the influence of a drug like heroin – of some other pill.
Cops there say they are contemplating a new plan for attacking the issue – and this West Virginia criminal defense lawyer is interested to hear about it (DUI defense is a huge part of my practice – so I follow this type of news religiously).
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Drug DUIs are the new frontier of DUI enforcement.