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How illegal drugs affect driving abilities

Alcohol is not the only substance that can significantly impair your driving ability. Using illegal drugs makes it dangerous to operate a vehicle and may lead to serious criminal charges, especially if there is an accident that results in injury or death. 

According to a recent survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of motorists test positive for drugs. Here is how some illicit drugs may impact your ability to drive safely.


Some drivers may take cocaine and feel like they are more alert behind the wheel, but this is a harmful belief. While cocaine can mask fatigue, it may result in aggressive behavior, blurry vision, difficulty concentrating and poor decision-making. Coming down from the drug may also cause you to fall asleep while driving. 


As you may know, there is a significant opiate crisis in this country. These drugs, such as codeine, methadone and heroin can severely affect your driving. Opiates may result in visual impairment, mental confusion and drowsiness.


A lot of people assume using marijuana is not a big deal. However, not only is it illegal in New York but it may impair the following:

  • Lane tracking
  • Cognitive functions
  • Psychomotor skills

This may make it difficult for you to pay attention, perceive time and distance and reduce your reaction time. 

Criminal charges

Not only may driving while on drugs result in a DUI charge but it can result in severe charges for possessing, selling or smuggling drugs. If the police catch you with illegal drugs in your system or your vehicle, you could be facing severe felony punishments. 

Never assume you can drive safely while on drugs, even if you only took a little bit or you are driving a short distance. One wrong decision may potentially impact the rest of your life. 

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