Tuesday, March 2

Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs

There are many laws related to drugged driving. Some of these are federal, while others are state. Each U.S. state maintains its own regulations regarding drug use. Some states have zero tolerance for drugs being used at all, more so before or while driving. One third of all American states take this zero tolerance position for drugged driving. The rest have limitations governing legal operation of a motor vehicle when using drugs. Because of these variances from state-to-state, knowing Drogen kaufen online your rights in a drugged driving auto accident requires the expert knowledge of a personal injury lawyer.

With so many changes occurring in legalization of some drugs for medical and recreational use, state laws can be even more confusing. States are finding that adapting motor vehicle laws to these drug law changes can be complex. This is because each person’s body reacts differently to use of some of these drugs with such reactions related to personal chemistry, the type of drug used, built up tolerance, amount consumed, body size and other factors. Protecting people on the roadways is difficult when one person is fully impaired after using a particular substance, whereas another may be completely lucid.

More Auto Accidents Now From Drugged Driving

As legalization of some drugs occurs in states across the country, fatal auto accidents involving these drugs become more commonplace. A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology presented results of driver toxicology tests taken within one hour of auto vehicle accidents. The study showed that in 1999, these tests resulted in 12 percent of auto accident-related fatalities being attributed to impaired driving, with four percent being blamed specifically on marijuana use. In 2010, the same tests of drivers after auto accidents resulted in 28 percent of fatalities being blamed on impaired driving, over 11 percent of those being attributable to marijuana.

Similar results have been provided by other studies, such as one conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That study reports that 22 percent of drivers tested positive for driving while impaired by prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications or illicit drugs.

Results of this NHTSA study were consistent between daytime and nighttime driving. But age was a factor in statistic changes over time, with illegal drug use by drivers aged 50 to 59 increasing to 7.2 percent in 2010 from 2002’s 3.4 percent. Drivers in this age group were responsible for one fourth of drugged driving deaths in 2010.

A third survey revealed that in 2011 almost 17 percent of college students engaged in impaired driving after using substances other than alcohol.

In 2010 46.5 percent of drugged drivers were under the influence of prescription medication, according to a nationwide study of fatal auto accidents. Among these impaired drivers, 36.9 percent were under the influence of marijuana and almost ten percent had used cocaine. Prescription drugs frequently blamed for impairment of drugged drivers involved in auto accidents include diazepam, hydrocodone, alprazolam and oxycodone. In many instances, these drugs were not prescribed to the driver using them.

Dangers of Driving While Drugged

Driving under the influence of alcohol has long been known to cause accidents. A driver who is drunk is 13 times more likely to cause an auto accident with fatalities than a sober driver. Mixing alcohol with marijuana is also very dangerous, with those drivers 24 times more likely to cause an accident with fatalities.

Civil lawsuits are frequently the result of accidents caused by drugged drivers. This is particularly true when fatalities or serious injuries occur as part of these accidents. Family members or the victims themselves may seek a car accident lawyer experienced with dui car accidents to help them pursue compensation for their injuries or other losses.

Sometimes, the parties involved in drugged driving are criminally charged. Community service, fines and even imprisonment result from these charges after drugged drivers are arrested and held accountable in court.

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