When most people in New Orleans think about DWIs, an image of a drunk driver immediately comes to mind. Someone who has been partying too much on Bourbon Street at a night club or bar and then makes the unfortunate and dangerous decision to drink and drive. The drunk driver in New Orleans, however, is not the only intoxicated driver who can be arrested for DWI in Louisiana. Another major cause of DWI arrests in Louisiana is individuals under the influence of both illegal and legal drugs. Indeed, the abuse of prescription drugs has increased at an alarming rate. In 2010, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that as many as 7 million Americans (nearly 3% of the country) abuse prescription drugs, with an estimated 5 million abusing painkillers and an estimated 2 million abusing sedatives (note the overlap here – another 1.8 million also abuse stimulants and other drugs, so 1.8 million people are actually abusing more than one kind of prescription drug).
With statistics like these, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of DWI arrests have nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with painkillers and sedatives. In some places in the country, nearly half of DWIs are related to drugs, not alcohol. Here in Louisiana, it is also becoming a major issue. Recently, a driver crashed is car in Marrero and admitted to Louisiana State Police that he had taken several muscle relaxants before driving. The driver was so intoxicated from the muscle relaxants that he couldn’t even perform the field sobriety test because he was too “sleepy.” Notably, he blew a 0.00% on the breathalyzer. Read more about the arrest here: http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/09/state_police_say_dwi_suspect_w.html.
Driving under the influence of anything – whether alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs is against the law and, with the recent crackdowns on DWIs, a risky proposition. Not only may you get arrested, but you could also cause serious, deadly harm to yourself and, most importantly, others. If you’ve been arrested for DWI in New Orleans, Metairie, or other areas in southeastern Louisiana, Bloom Legal can help. We are experienced in handling all types of DWIs, whether caused by alcohol, prescription drugs, or otherwise. Call us to day at 504-599-9997.