DUI Drug Related Accidents Claim Lives of Georgia Car Crash Victims


May 23, 2011

There is a great deal of media coverage about DUI accidents in the Atlanta metro and elsewhere throughout Georgia. Most people assume that driving under the influence only means driving while intoxicated with alcohol.

While this is one form of DUI under Georgia law, the term DUI also stands for driving under the influence of drugs. In a survey done around the nation in 2006, an estimated 10.2 million people admitted to driving while under the influence of drugs. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing Georgia residents injured in auto accidents with drivers driving under the influence of drugs for over a quarter of a century.

Thousands of drivers on Georgia roads are under the influence of illegal drugs or drugs that are legally prescribed. While it is easy to assume that illegal drugs cause the majority of alcohol-related car accidents on Georgia roadways, the truth of the matter is prescription drugs pose just as much if not more dangers to drivers on the road.

Affects of Prescription Drugs

The affects of prescription drugs can have a different impact depending on the dosage and particular characteristics of the person taking the medication, such as differences in weight. These drugs can directly influence the functioning of the brain and have impacts on driving ability or cause a driver to fall asleep behind the wheel. Prescription drugs can affect drivers in a wide variety of ways including:

  • Altering perception
  • Inducing drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Blurring vision
  • Causing dizziness
  • Slowing reaction times
  • Interfering with focus and concentration
  • Inducing nausea or even fainting

The labels on most bottles of prescription drugs actually warn against driving after taking these drugs because of their ability to impair one's judgement while driving. Some people will take multiple drugs at once and some even combine prescription drugs with drinking alcohol.

Drugs and Motor Vehicle Accidents

In 15 states, it is illegal to drive a car with any detectable level of an illegal drug in your system. Despite these laws, approximately 11,000 die as a result of auto accidents that occur while driving under the influence of drugs each year.

People take drugs such as depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens for recreational purposes. A substantial number of people use marijuana which has been shown to affect areas of the brain that control reaction time, body movement, balance, coordination, memory, judgement, and sensation. Marijuana mixed with driving makes for an unsafe environment for the driver and all other motorists on the road.

Prescription Drugs and Pill Mills

Painkillers, including opiates, such as Methadone, Oxycontin, and Vicodin, cause many auto accidents resulting in drug-related deaths according to the CDC. Data from the CDC indicates that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 10 adolescents are prescribed these types of painkillers each year.

There are an increasing number of reports of these drugs being prescribed illegally or without medical justification. There are businesses that are actually disguised as independent pain-management centers. They are referred to as pill mills. A pill mill is a term investigators and law enforcement call a doctor's office, clinic or pharmacy that prescribes or dispenses narcotics unethically to people for non-medical reasons.

Prescription drug overdoses are the second leading cause of accidental death behind traffic crashes, and painkillers have played a leading role in this increase.

If a doctor prescribes pain medication to a patient without a legitimate purpose or outside the usual course of medical practice, the physician may be breaking federal law. The doctor could actually be charged with a felony. There is no doubt that the prevalence of these types of "clinics" and ease of access to prescription drugs is increasing the likelihood that some motorists will drive under the influence of these drugs and may cause serious injury or even death.

If you have been injured in a car accident involving another driver who was under the influence of drugs, then you should contact an experienced Georgia DUI accident attorney right away. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, when appropriate we use experts to testify about the impact of a particular type or amount of drug, and its role in impairing a person’s driving ability. Even if the drug that impairs one’s driving ability is a legal prescription drug, this does not excuse operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of the drug. Prescription drugs that impair driving ability typically come with prominent warnings so a driver who disregards such warnings needlessly puts others on the road at risk.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been assisting those injured or killed in drug-related traffic accidents in seeking compensation for their injuries in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia for over 27 years. Our Georgia drunk driving accident lawyers understand the grief and hardship caused by drivers who insist on putting others at risk by driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, alcohol and illegal narcotics. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

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.