Did you know that driving while impaired by any substance is illegal in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia? The substance causing the impairment may be alcohol, legal drugs, or illegal drugs, but it remains a violation of the law to operate a vehicle under such an impairment. This is because driving while impaired by a substance means you are unable to drive safely. While drugs in a person’s system may not be as easily tested as alcohol, which can be tested by something such as a breathalyzer, law enforcement officers do receive extensive training on observing a driver’s behavior in order to identify those drivers who are impaired. While more attention seems to be given to drunk driving, drug-impaired driving can be just as dangerous and just as pervasive of a problem.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 56% of drivers that were involved in crashes resulting in serious injury or a fatality tested positive for at least one drug between October and December of 2020. The research is clear. Drug-impaired driving is dangerous driving. It is time to recognize this, dispel misconceptions about drug use and driving, and do what we can to make better choices in order for everyone to stay safe on the road.
Drugs have different ways of interacting with the body and display a variety of effects. Each drug, therefore, presents unique dangers when it comes to a driver driving under the influence. This is why driving under the influence of anything from marijuana to opioids to methamphetamines is illegal in every state. Cocaine and methamphetamines tend to increase a driver’s aggressive behaviors and encourage recklessness.
Marijuana, conversely, tends to impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle by slowing coordination and reaction times as well as impairing judgment. This is why driving while impaired by marijuana remains illegal. This remains true despite changes to many states’ marijuana laws. It is unlawful to drive while impaired even by legal substances, including prescription medication for which a person has a valid prescription. Many prescription and over-the-counter medicines can create extreme drowsiness and dizziness, both of which make for unsafe driving.
It can be difficult to accurately assess whether you have been impaired by a substance. This is why it is best to refrain from operating a vehicle after taking a substance. It is especially important to remember that if a substance has made you feel different, it is likely that you will drive differently. So, be safe, save lives, and choose to refrain from driving. If you are planning on using an impairing substance, plan ahead for the use of a sober driver. Be a sober driver for others and stop friends from driving if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We can all help each other stay safer out there on the roads.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured by a drug-impaired driver, you are entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered. Talk to the team at Compass Law Group about how we can help you recover monetary compensation. Contact us today.