The consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol have been well-documented in the media. While similar, the effects of driving high aren’t as widely known. As more and more states work towards legalizing marijuana, the number of accidents caused by high drivers is likely to skyrocket. Even legal drugs prescribed by doctors can be dangerous to drive on, making it a difficult crime to prosecute. Laws defining what it means to drive under the influence of drugs vary from state to state, but all generally prohibit the use of mind-altering substances while behind the wheel.
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Under the Influence
As with alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs means that the motorist is not capable of making safe decisions behind the wheel. Because of a high concentration of substances in their blood, high drivers often have slower reaction times. Normal daily activities can become challenging when a person is under the influence, and since driving requires a high degree of concentration in order to prevent accidents, the odds of a crash increase dramatically.
Each state has different definitions of what constitutes driving high. In per se states, drivers with a specific amount of marijuana in their system are considered under the influence. Other states prohibit any driver with measurable amounts of marijuana in their urine to get behind the wheel. This is more common in states where marijuana possession is illegal. In most cases, police will conduct field sobriety tests on drivers they suspect are high.
The Impact of Driving High
Of all the illicit drugs found in the blood of drivers involved in accidents, marijuana is the most common. One study found that those who drive high are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers. Generally speaking, the higher the motorist, the greater the odds they’ll be involved in a wreck. Those who mix booze and pot multiply these odds even further.
If you’ve been involved in a crash that you believe was caused by a person driving high, you may want to pursue legal action. A car accident attorney can review your case and give you an idea of how much a settlement could be worth. Medical bills, lost wages, and compensation for your pain and suffering can all be covered in a car accident settlement. Our car accident settlement calculator can help give you an idea of how much your damages could total.
Talk to An Attorney Now
In the wake of an accident involving a high driver, you should always speak with an experienced car accident lawyer about your options. Driving high is a choice that should be prosecuted. While the driver may already be facing criminal charges because of their negligence behind the wheel, you may have grounds for a civil suit against them as well. In many cases, lawyers do not charge anything for initial consultations. It’s worth a call to determine your options moving forward.