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Drugged driving makes roads more deadly in Tennessee

Tennessee has seen an increase in traffic fatalities, putting the Volunteer State on a trajectory to break a three-year run in declining traffic fatalities. Some authorities are beginning to suspect the rise is due in part to an overall increase in drugged driving over drunk driving. While the exact statistics will take some more time to calculate, forensic laboratories report an overwhelming number of toxicology tests to complete.

This is causing some discussion around the need for more specific legal regulations around drug consumption and driving, such as are currently on the books for alcohol consumption. Whereas there is a specific legal threshold for how much alcohol a person can have in his or her bloodstream while driving, there is currently no such threshold for other impairing substances.

This year, traffic fatalities in general are on the rise in Tennessee, and are on track to break a three-year streak of declining deaths. As drug use, both legal and illegal, becomes more and more commonplace, our roads are becoming less safe. Unfortunately, as we wait for legislation to catch up to the real world, thousands of drivers are getting behind the wheel believing that they are ok to drive, in part because there is no defined standard for what is and is not an acceptable level of drug presence in the bloodstream.

If you are considering getting behind the wheel when you have drugs in your system, please reconsider this choice. The roads are dangerous enough already. Sadly, even for those who obey both common sense and driving laws, accidents do still happen. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an automobile accident, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you protect your rights while you seek fair compensation for your losses.

Source: The Tennessean, "Drugged driving overtakes alcohol in Tennessee road deaths," Mike Reicher, Sep. 29, 2016

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