Car Accidents Caused by Someone Driving under the Influence of Drugs Lawyer
It is illegal in the United States to drive under the influence of any drug – illegal, prescribed, or OTC – that could impair a person’s ability to drive safely. Driving while impaired endangers your life and the lives of those sharing the road with you. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH) reported that almost 44 percent of drivers in fatal crashes tested positive for drugs.
Were you or someone you loved injured or killed in a car accident caused by a drug-impaired driver? If so, you should not have to pay the financial price of someone else’s poor decision. A personal injury lawyer from Phillips Law Group can offer legal advice and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to receive.
Phillips Law Group has been representing car accident victims in Arizona and the surrounding area for almost 30 years. We offer all potential clients a free case review. Call us 24/7 at 1-800-706-3000 or complete the free case evaluation form to schedule yours today.
The Effects of Drugs on Driving
Driving under the influence of drugs, even prescription medications, can seriously impair the faculties you need to drive safely. Consider some of the ways different drugs could affect a driver.
Besides alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents. Even in states where marijuana is legal, it is still illegal to use marijuana and drive.
Marijuana can affect a driver’s:
- Reflexes and reaction time
- Ability to read and understand traffic signs
- Judgment and thinking ability
- Concentration and ability to avoid distractions
- Perception of time and distance
- Ability to “track” or stay in his or her lane
Marijuana is mind-altering, and if combined with alcohol or other drugs, it can cause extreme anxiety and even hallucinations.
Prescription medications can come with a wide range of side effects. Some side effects may be mild, while others are debilitating. Typically, if a prescription medication will impair your ability to drive, it will come with a warning label. Unfortunately, many people ignore these warnings and drive anyway.
Prescription medication side effects that may impair your ability to drive may include:
- Blurred vision
- Delayed reaction time
- Blurred vision
- Impaired cognitive function
Prescription medications can affect each person differently. If you are concerned about how your medication may impact (or is impacting) your driving skills, you should refrain from getting behind the wheel and speak to your doctor.
Cocaine can mask fatigue, making a person feel alert and stimulated although his or her physical reactions are impaired.
Cocaine abuse may manifest itself in one or more of the following ways:
- Impaired judgment
- Increased energy
- Poor coordination
- Sense of euphoria
- Inability to concentrate
- Rise in heart rate and blood pressure
Drivers under the influence of cocaine may be more aggressive, impulsive, and prone to taking risks. The increased energy and impaired judgment can cause a driver to be impatient and ignore the rules of the road.
Amphetamines are a stimulant and have an effect on a person similar to cocaine. These types of drugs create a sensation of euphoria, reduce the feeling of sleepiness, and cause a false sense of control and security while driving.
The use of amphetamines can also impact a driver’s:
- Reasoning ability
- Tendency to take risks
Drivers under the influence of amphetamines are more prone to aggression, which can lead to violent conduct and acts of road rage.
Whether illegal or prescription, tranquilizing drugs, and driving can be a dangerous combination. The use of tranquilizers may produce:
- Altered perceptions
- A lack of coordination
- Poor control of speech
- Memory impairment
Benzodiazepines and other tranquilizing drugs cause a motorist to have difficulty maintaining lane positioning, be unable to read and comprehend road signs and instructions, and have trouble gauging distance.
Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms commonly affect a person’s mood, memory, and cognitive processes.
Psychedelic drugs can have an unpredictable effect on drivers and may result in:
- Blurred vision
- Poor coordination
- Inability to take in and process information
These drugs cause confusion, making users see and hear things that are not really there or experience things distortedly.
How Do Police Identify Drugged Drivers?
It is illegal in all states to drive while high on drugs. This is true even if marijuana is legal in the state where you live. Unfortunately, many choose to drive while under the influence of drugs, assuming the police will not know they are high.
There is not a breathalyzer test for drugs like there is for alcohol-impaired drivers. However, the police have other means of determining whether a person is driving while high on drugs. Common telltale signs include dilated pupils and erratic behavior. Another indicator is the inability to judge distance. For instance, a person may stop way short or far beyond a traffic light or stop sign.
Many law enforcement officers are trained as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). These officers are taught protocols that are designed to determine whether a person is under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
Police and DREs look at certain things, including:
- Eye movement control
- Blood pressure
- Urine test
- Ability to judge time and distance
- Pupil evaluation
- Reaction time and coordination
- Muscle response
- Blood test
Some of these tests are performed in the field when the driver is pulled over, while others, such as blood and urine tests, will need to be done at a medical facility.
After taking on your car accident case, the legal team at Phillips Law Group will request a copy of any drug test performed by law enforcement on the drugged driver. Drug tests provide valuable evidence when determining fault and liability.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
A car accident caused by a drugged driver may have left you with medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other losses. You should not have to pay the price for someone else’s negligence. A car accident lawyer from Phillips Law Group can defend your legal rights and help you pursue all of your options for compensation.
While building a solid car accident case on your behalf, your personal injury attorney may:
- Review the police reports and statements made by you and your passengers
- Interview anyone who was an eyewitness to the car accident
- Consult with accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and other experts
- View any surveillance video that may have been recorded of the accident
- Review the toxicology report if a blood or urine test was conducted
After an accident, a drug test may not have been performed or there may have been a low level of drugs found in the driver’s system. The driver’s lawyer may argue that the motorist was not under the influence of drugs or impaired at the time of the car accident. In this situation, the law enforcement officer’s observations of the drugged driver’s speech, conduct, and appearance may be critical to your case.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a drugged driver, then do not hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer today. Our attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
At Phillips Law Group, our personal injury lawyers take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. Which means you will pay no upfront costs or fees. We only get paid if your claim is successful and you are paid a settlement or award.
Schedule your free consultation with a member of our legal team at Phillips Law Group today. There is no risk or obligation. Call us, start a live chat on this page, or complete the evaluation form to get started today.
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