The Impact of Illicit Drug Use on Traffic Safety


September 24, 2016

Georgia Auto Accident Attorneys Analyze the Impact of Illicit Drug Use on Traffic Safety

While many people in Georgia and across the U.S. are aware of the danger associated with drunk driving, but fewer drivers might recognize the extent of the risk posed by drivers impaired by narcotics. Ten million people across the country admit to driving while under the influence of illicit drugs, according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). There are many types of illegal narcotics that impair drivers, including methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, opium, oxycodone, PCP, and more.

Sadly, drivers often disregard the dangers of operating a motor vehicle when under the influence of illegal drugs. These drugs can disrupt perception, promote sleepiness, adversely impact judgment, interfere with coordination or reflexes, and promote an inflated sense of confidence in one's driving ability. When a car accident occurs involving a driver who is under the influence of drugs, the officer might administer field sobriety tests (FSTs). Because illicit drugs do not show up in a breathalyzer test, the police officer investigating the accident also will typically conduct a blood test depending on the results of the FSTs. If a driver impaired by street drugs causes a serious auto accident that results in serious personal injury, including spinal cord damage causing paralysis, traumatic brain injury causing loss of cognitive functioning, or amputation of limbs, the potential damage award will be substantial depending on the circumstances.

Although driving while under the influence of alcohol is a widely acknowledged and discussed dangerous driving practice, drivers that are drug-impaired receive a lot less attention. While intoxicated driving might be less common, it also receives less publicity because it is much harder to prove. Many times police officers do not even test for drugs unless a motor vehicle accident occurs.

When you are involved in a traffic collision with a driver who has engaged in erratic driving behavior before causing a crash, you should summon law enforcement to the scene of the motor vehicle accident. Any erratic or unsafe driving that you observed before the collision should be clearly described to the police officer. These statements provide additional evidence to support a justification for the investigating officer to conduct a drug and alcohol screening. Sometimes if the officer suspects that the driver was impaired by drugs, a specially trained expert called a Drug Recognition Expert may be summoned to conduct tests and make observations that the driver was drug-impaired at the time of the collision. If the driver is convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs in criminal court, an accident victim will likely have a much stronger personal injury or wrongful death case.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 32 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Car Accident Claim

If you have suffered severe injury or lost a loved one in a crash caused by a drugged driver, our experienced Georgia auto accident attorneys tenaciously strive for the fullest compensation for our clients under the law. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-two years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.