Are Drug-Related DWI Cases Increasing in Number?
Interviewer: Of the cases you handle, what percentage are alcohol related versus prescription drug or illegal drug related?
Gary: Right now I’d say 90% of them are alcohol related. I’m starting to get more drug related cases because they’re getting more sophisticated on what they can screen to show narcotics in the blood. A breath test will not reveal that.
If the Officer Suspects Drug Use, You Will Be Asked to Undergo a Blood Test to Screen for Drugs
Currently, if drug use is suspected, what the officer will do is they give you a breath test and it comes back 000 then they ask you to submit to a blood test or get a court order to compel you to do a blood test. The lab will perform a toxicology screen on the blood sample for narcotics at that point.
I see many cases attributed to Xanax because people don’t realize how much it affects them. Especially any kind of opiates with Xanax is basically a cocktail that you don’t want to have in your system. This is because I’ve had two or three of cases that involved very bad accidents when the driver was on that drug combination.
Interviewer: Do you see Ambien or what other prescription drugs are popular?
Gary: I primarily see cases where the driver has ingested an opiate like hydro-codeine combined with a Xanax, or alcohol and a Xanax.