Drug Testing Expert Witnesses

Drug testing expert witnesses are seeing more and more criminal cases involving impairment by drugs.  While drunk driving is still prevalent, times have changed and police are seeing drugged driving on the rise.  A Governor’s Highway Safety Association study found that in 2013, 40% of drivers killed in accidents tested positive for drugs, from meth, opiates, and marijuana to blood-pressure medication and painkillers.

The NHTSA reports:

The nation’s decades-long campaign to combat drunk driving continues to make our roads safer, but use of marijuana and prescription drugs is increasingly prominent on the highways, creating new safety questions, according to a pair of ground-breaking studies released today by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

One study, the latest version of NHTSA’s Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, found that the number of drivers with alcohol in their system has declined by nearly one-third since 2007, and by more than three-quarters since the first Roadside Survey in 1973. But that same survey found a large increase in the number of drivers using marijuana or other illegal drugs. In the 2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety.

In a driving under the influence case, certified drug recognition expert Sgt. Robert McEvoy of the Bridgewater State University Police Department explains “It’s very difficult to prove impairment by drugs. Alcohol is a very consistent drug; it affects everyone almost the same way.” It is different in a drug case. In a case regarding operating under the influence of drugs, the expert must be prepared testify on the various effects of a panoply of pharmaceuticals and narcotics.

 

About Karen Olson

Information Professional with twenty years experience in legal, public record, and business research. Fifteen years law firm experience.

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