Drunk driving remains one of the top safety threats on our highways. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that more than 1,000 people are killed in DUI accidents in California each year.
Alcohol is not the only culprit. A recent study concluded that more fatal accidents can be linked to drugs than alcohol.
Research by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that 43% of drivers who were involved in a fatal accident tested positive for a legal or illegal drug. By comparison, approximately 37% of drivers killed in fatal collisions tested positive for alcohol.
Under California law, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some of the most common substances/medications linked to drugged driving accidents are:
- Opiates and other painkillers; and
- Ambien and other sleep medications.
Drugged driving statistics come with an important caveat: There are major questions about the reliability of post-accident drug tests. It is often challenging to establish a clear link between a drug being in a person’s system and a car accident. Even if a controlled substance was in a driver’s system, that does not establish that the drug/medication contributed to an accident.
This makes drugged driving accident cases more challenging than drunk driving accident cases. As alcohol leaves the body relatively quickly, we are able to measure a driver’s level of intoxication with some level of precision. In contrast, many people test positive for certain types of drugs well after any impairment has worn off.
Contact Our San Jose, CA Car Accidents Attorneys for Immediate Help
Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our research and experience. Our goal as personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients. Every day we deal with a range of health and safety issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury occurs. As safety lawyers we are committed to providing our clients and the public with information for safer and healthier living. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.