A new government report, the first one of its kind, shows that drug use is up among drivers who are involved in fatal DUI collisions. According to an article in Consumer Reports, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that one in five fatally injured drivers tested in 2009 were under the influence of legal and illegal drugs. Among those tested, fatally injured drivers using drugs rose from 13 percent to 18 percent.
Although this NHTSA study is interesting and timely, it has a few issues. It does not appear to state whether the fatal car accidents were caused by the driver who was under the influence of drugs. The drug traces found cover everything from narcotics to prescription medication and over-the-counter medicines.
DUI Increases the Chance of a Fatal Crash
That said, many years of research and testing shows that when someone is under the influence, they are at risk to cause a serious car accident that can harm the driver and others. This research is significant because it is the first one to evaluate driver drug use and fatal car accidents. It provides the basis for future research that could measure the role of drugs – illegal or otherwise – as an actual cause for fatalities on our nation’s roadways.
California DUI Law
Under California law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any drug – whether they are controlled substances, over-the-counter medicines or prescription drugs. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a): “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”
When a person causes a major injury car accident, he or she could not only face criminal prosecution, but can also be held civilly liable for the resulting injuries, damages and losses. Victims of these drivers can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, costs of hospitalization, surgeries and even continuing treatment and care. Injured victims of DUI drivers would be well-advised to seek the counsel of an experienced California personal injury attorney, who will analyze all facets of the incident and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.
Seriously injured in a California car accident? Want to know if you have a case? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation for your injuries? Want justice? Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else?
Call your best friends in the legal industry after a California DUI accident. Call 800-259-6373. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys California personal injury attorney for a free professional evaluation of your case by attorneys who have represented over 6,000 clients since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a friendly law firm in a comfortable environment.
Would you like to see more research done in the future about how drug use affects traffic safety?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.