Raising the Stakes by Driving High
Most drivers are aware of the risks they face when driving under the influence of alcohol; however, did you know that the risks of a DUI encompass more than just the influence of alcohol?
Many drivers believe that DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol—and even then they believe that it pertains to an overindulgence of booze. However, DUIs actually pertain to driving under the influence of any substance that may cause impairment or the inability to drive safely. Impairing substances can include:
- Crack cocaine
- Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, especially if warning labels specifically state not to operate heavy machinery while taking
and before you ask, yes…even marijuana.
The Risks of Driving With Mary Jane
In recent years, various state governments have begun to drop criminal penalties against marijuana; some have legalized the drug. In response, more and more teenagers and young adults are experimenting with cannabis while they drive. Unlike drinking—where most drivers can feel the effects and understand how impaired they can become—it seems that many of those who smoke weed don’t fully appreciate how impaired it can make them. Instead, they believe that their focus and concentration are the same as when they’re sober.
Guess what? It’s not.
A recent study published by the British Medical Journal determined that cannabis consumption is associated with an increased risk of a motor vehicle crashes, especially for fatal collisions. In fact, after several field tests it has been determined that driving while high on drugs can actually impair a driver more than if he were driving under the influence of alcohol. What makes it even more dangerous is the fact that drivers who are high truly believe that the drug has had no real effect on their driving skills; generally, drunk drivers acknowledge the difference even if they don’t obey the laws.
However, in Texas it doesn't matter if you think you drive well while high; driving under the influence of any cognition-impairing substance—whether it be alcohol, recreational drugs, or powerful prescriptions—is a crime.
When a driver causes an accident as a result of impairment caused by a drug, than he is both criminally liable for committing a DUI, as well as civilly liable for any injuries the accident may have caused others.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs, you may be entitled to recover damages. Contact attorney Steve Lee today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and potential injury claim. Call toll free at 1-800-232-3711 and see how we can help you get back on the road to recovery.