Drugged driving -- overlooked but dangerous


There are consistent efforts to battle drunk driving accidents in Connecticut and the country. However, the federal government has increased efforts to combat the equally-fatal impact of drug impaired drivers. Use of any mind-altering drug while driving is, like drunk driving, dangerous and illegal.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration conducted a 2009 study finding that 18 percent of motorists that are fatally injured tested positive for drugs. These included illicit substances along with prescription and over-the-counter drugs. This was a 13 percent increase from a 2005 study.

A 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that approximately 9.9 million people over 12-years-old stated that they drove with illicit drugs in their system in the previous year. A 2007 NHTSA survey revealed that more than 16 percent of all drivers on the weekends and nighttime tested positive over-the-counter drugs, preciption and illegal drugs. These figure may be higher because blood tests for drugs are inconsistently performed and many drivers involved in accidents have drugs and alcohol in their systems.

The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is the substance most commonly found in the blood of an impaired driver, fatally-injured driver and crash victims after alcohol. Real and simulated driving studies show that marijuana can diminish a driver's attention, time and speed, perception and ability to rely on information from past experiences. Impairment increases greatly when alcohol is imbibe with marijuana.

Opiates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and cocaine are other drugs that are often involved in accidents. A 2003 study of drivers that were seriously injured admitted to a Maryland shock trauma center found the presence of other drugs in over half of the cases. These included benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates and other prescription drugs. At least 25 percent of the cases involved the presence of alcohol with other drugs.

Prescription drugs, such as opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines prescribed for sleep disorders, impair driving for a specific time after being taken. Without medical supervision, prescription drugs increase the likelihood of impaired driving.

Victims of an auto accident caused by an impaired or drunk driver may be entitled to compensation for injuries and other losses. Prompt legal assistance should be sought to help determine liability and protect a victim's rights in court and settlement negotiations.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, "DrugFacts: Drugged Driving," Retrieved Feb. 16, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response
    • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
    • 2018 Avvo Client Choice Award
    • Avvo Rated Best Attorney
    • Expertise 2020
    • National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • Lawyers Of Distinction 2019
    • 2020 10 Best Connecticut Attorney in Client Satisfaction
    • 10 Best 2015 - Client Satisfaction - American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys (TM)
    • 2015 Top 10 Best Connecticut Law Firms
    • 10 Best 2015 - Client Satisfaction - 10 Best Law Firms - American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys (TM)
    • 15 Years | Marquis Who's Who | Marquis Who's Who in American Law | Marquis Who's Who in America | Marquis Who's Who In the World | Marquis Who's Who In the Finance and Industry
    • Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Contact The Law Offices Of James L. O'Rourke Today

If you have been injured in an accident, our experienced personal injury attorneys will help you pursue the full compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call 203-864-4427. We are ready to take your call 24/7. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request, as are home or hospital room visits. Spanish translation services are available.

Office ${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}

Stratford Office
1825 Barnum Avenue, Suite 201
Stratford, CT 06614

Toll Free: 800-658-1245
Phone: 203-864-4427
Fax: 203-377-2770
Stratford Law Office Map

Shelton Office
221 Nells Rock Road
Shelton, CT 06484

Toll Free: 800-658-1245
Phone: 203-864-4427
Fax: 203-377-2770
Shelton Law Office Map