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The Dangers of Drugged Driving

Driver with Drug PillsFor decades, we have heard of the dangers of drunk driving, but alcohol is not the only mind-altering substance drivers sometimes use before getting behind the wheel. Data shows that drugged driving, or driving under the influence of drugs, is just as dangerous than drunk driving and may be even more common. A 2009 study showed that one out of every three individuals killed in car accidents tested positive for drugs. Drivers under the influence of drugs are not only a danger to themselves but also put everyone else on the road at risk.

Recreational Marijuana Concerns

Our country’s attitude has certainly changed regarding drug use in the last few decades. Many states, including California, have significantly reduced criminal penalties for marijuana use. Since California legalized the use of recreational marijuana, many have worried that there will be an increase of drugged drivers on the roads. To be clear, it is against the law to be under the influence of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. The law says that a person is guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) if he or she is driving under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug. Motorists can also be charged with a DUI for driving while addicted to a drug.

Opioids and Other Illicit Drugs

The National Survey of Drug Use and Health reports that 10 million adults and teenagers admitted to driving under the influence of illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, tranquilizers and prescription medications for which they do not have a prescription. Although legal marijuana has come to California, the state still has a serious problem with opioid misuse. Even if it is prescribed by a doctor, opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin, morphine, and codeine can significantly reduce a person’s ability to drive. Those taking these types of medications without a doctor’s approval may be even more at risk of driving drugged. Opioid use can cause drowsiness, lethargy, paranoia, and decreased concentration. Combining opioids with other drugs or alcohol can intensify the effects and lead to loss of consciousness or even death.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Injury Lawyer Today

Those who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol put the lives of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians in danger. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call (408) 298-7200 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable Monterey County personal injury attorney at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. today.

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