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Drug use contributes to crash in Riverside

Driving while intoxicated on illegal drugs is a growing concern in illinoiss and across the United States. In the city of Riverside, there has been a 900 percent surge in drugged driving arrests in 2016.

One of those arrests took place on Dec. 23 in the 2900 block of Harlem Avenue. Police arrived at the scene to find two crashed vehicles and one of the drivers, a 39-year-old man from Chicago, mumbling and behaving strangely.

The man underwent a breathalyzer test, which reported no alcohol in his body. However, an officer was able to determine that the driver was on drugs. The man later stated that he had used heroin, ingested Xanax and smoked marijuana before the crash occurred.

Various types of drugs and drug-related paraphernalia were located in the driver's vehicle. This included Xanax, cut straws, three bags of heroin, a bottle of cannabis and other equipment used for taking drugs.

The driver was charged with felony counts of the possession of cannabis, driving under the influence of drugs and the possession of heroin. He was also issued numerous traffic citations.

The executive director of Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists states that more people should know about the widespread problem of drugged driving. It is necessary with the increased use of medical marijuana and individuals not being aware of what their limits are due to the differences between marijuana and alcohol.

An attorney who practices criminal law may be able to assist a defendant facing drug charges. The lawyer may examine the factors of the arrest and suggest pursuing a plea deal, seeking a reduction or elimination of charges or taking the case to trial.

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