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How Does Methamphetamine Affect Driving?

Updated: Jan 25, 2024 @ 3:42 pm

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

Methamphetamine is one of the most used drugs in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost 1% of the country reported using meth in the past year. That worked out to nearly 3 million people. Almost half of these people had a methamphetamine use disorder.

Meth is a powerful stimulant which helps keep people awake. Many motorists use methamphetamine to stay awake, particular truckers who are on the road for long periods of time. Unfortunately, using this drug is illegal, and getting behind the wheel after taking meth will qualify as being intoxicated. Call Tad Nelson to speak with a DWI defense lawyer about your arrest.


The Major Effects of Methamphetamine

As a stimulant, methamphetamine can increase wakefulness. Drivers will feel less tired. Of course, others take the drug for the feeling of “euphoria” or “rush,” which is so pleasurable that they develop an addiction.

There are some other effects, which are dangerous to drivers:

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Convulsions
  • Rising blood pressure
  • Increased risk taking

Meth can also make a driver aggressive or violent after the arrest. There is a real risk that the driver will fight back or assault the police officer. Any type of resisting arrest will only add criminal penalties and makes negotiating a plea deal much harder.


Withdrawal is Also a Problem

Coming down from any meth “high” is also dangerous. Some of the effects including:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Hypersomnolence

A motorist who suddenly feels fatigued could easily nod off behind the wheel and go off the road or smash into someone. Drowsy driving is every bit as dangerous as impaired driving.


What about Meth Combined with Marijuana?

One study found that about 1 in 3 drivers who used meth also had used marijuana. Using marijuana creates real risks for drivers, since marijuana is a depressant that can exaggerate the withdrawal symptoms like fatigue. Even if you are using marijuana for medicinal purposes, you can be charged with DWI.


How Easy is Meth Use to Detect?

After being stopped, an officer will look for any signs that you are high. If you have dilated pupils or talked very fast, an officer will likely suspect drug use.

Urine and blood tests will show methamphetamine, and an officer can request that you give a sample. Meth can stay in the body for a week or longer, so it’s possible to fail a test. About 50% of meth will come out in your urine unchanged.

Any commercial trucker can expect a drug test after an accident, which is required by federal regulations. Your employer might also test whenever they have reason to suspect you are impaired. You will be suspended if you fail a test.


Contact Us for DWI Defense

Some people use meth only once. It’s a mistake which they immediately regret. You should not be thrown into jail for one simple mistake. Call Tad Nelson & Associates today if you were arrested for drugged driving. Our legal team can discuss how we defend these cases.


Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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