Drugged driving is a growing problem across the United States, but many people remain unaware of the extent of the problem. This article will discuss some of the challenges faced by accident victims, personal injury attorneys, and law enforcement officers today.
Thousands of drugs that impair the ability to drive exist. While many are illegal, some legal drugs like prescription or over the counter medications can also impair reaction time and perception. With the legalization of marijuana in some states, the potential for drugged driving is increasing. Many drivers will get behind the wheel after ingesting a combination of drugs and alcohol. This can lead to serious impairment, as there are many drugs that compound the effects of alcohol when consumed. Currently, a widespread data collection system does not exist among the states concerning drugged driving like there is for drunk driving.
What is Drugged Driving?
Driving under the influence is defined in O.C.G.A. Section 40-6-391 (a). This law makes it illegal for any person to drive while intoxicated to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.
The Impact of Drugs on Driving Skills Drugs have an effect on nearly every part of the body.
The impact of drug impairment due to drugs extends to the following, among others:
- Coordination: Drugs impact the muscles and nerves, making safe steering, accelerating, and braking, as well as overall control of the vehicle difficult.
- Reaction time: Drugs slow a driver’s reaction and response times.
- Attention: Numerous drugs are known to make it difficult for an individual to process information and focus.
- Judgment: Drugs can drastically impact cognitive functioning, hindering a person’s ability to assess hazards and risks while diminishing fear responses. The overall result is an increased chance of risk taking behavior.
- Tracking: Drugs can decrease a driver’s ability to remain in their lane and keep a safe following distance.
- Perception: Perception is visually influenced, making impairment of the brain highly dangerous.
Legal Challenges Associated with Drugged Driving
Drugs are less easily measured than alcohol, requiring a blood test or hair test in many circumstances. Some drugs can leave the system quite quickly, presenting the possibility of inaccurate results. Most states will assess the driver’s coordination and driving to determine impairment, but some drug users will be able to pass these measures despite being under the influence.
If you have been injured or tragically lost a loved one because of a drugged driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney who can preserve evidence, fight to overcome the obstacles associated with proving intoxication, and pursue a claim against the at fault person.
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Speaking with an attorney can help you understand your legal rights as well as the steps necessary to preserve your rights. Our car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates represent those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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