Drugged Drivers Pose Serious Threat to Nation’s Roadways

Chicago car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm advise that drugged driving is becoming an even bigger problem on the roadways than drunk driving.

A new survey revealed that 14 percent of drivers tested positive for driving under the influence of drugs (both prescription and illegal). Only 7.3 percent of the motorists tested positive for alcohol, just half the number of those who tested positive for drugged driving. This poses a serious threat to public safety.

The motorists who were surveyed voluntarily gave their saliva and/or breath samples at roadside locations in California cities on Friday and Saturday nights between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Samples were analyzed for key illegal drugs, THC, alcohol and over-the-counter and prescription medication that could negatively affect driving.

Marijuana was found to be the most common among the drugs detected in the system of the surveyed motorists. This illegal drug can seriously impair a person’s driving abilities.

Illustrating the dangers of drugged driving, a recent news article revealed that parents of a New York teen who was high on marijuana caused a fatal car crash are facing severe penalties. Prosecutors said that the teenage boy’s parents permitted their son to drive the family’s vehicle, even though he only possessed a learner’s permit.

The teen was driving at a speed exceeding 110 mph when he lost control of the vehicle and smashed into the woods. He was the sole survivor of the crash, which claimed the lives of his four friends.

Another recent, shocking drunk driving incident involved a California woman. The crash resulted in the death of two children, one of whom was the woman’s own daughter. She was ordered to stand trial on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI causing injury and felony child abuse.

The woman lost control of her vehicle, which went down an embankment, overturned, and ended up sinking in the water.

Both the woman and the front seat passenger got out. The two children were still in the back seat. The children were airlifted to a hospital after being pulled out by area residents and Border Patrol Agents. Both were pronounced dead at the hospital.

The male front seat passenger refused to testify, mentioning his right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. He did, however, tell a CHP Officer that he met the defendant a couple of months before the accident and that their daughters played together. On the day of the fatal crash, both had consumed about three beers each and possibly more.

The officer who handcuffed the defendant smelled alcohol on her breath. A distinct odor of alcohol was coming from the other front seat passenger as well at the time of his interview at the scene of the crash.

At CHP headquarters, the accused revealed that she had bought a 12-pack beer which she kept in a cooler in the van. She also kept snacks for the children.

She said that she was driving with a single hand when she noticed a rock on the road and veered to avoid it. As a result, the van went off the road. The CHP officer could not however, locate any gouges or tire marks on the road to support the woman’s explanation.

If your loved one was injured or died because of the negligent or reckless actions of a drunk or drugged driver, you need to fight for compensation. A competent auto accident attorney can help you get the justice you deserve.

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