There is no safe way to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sadly, some drivers believe that they can wing it, most likely because they have done it several times before without any consequences.
Nobody who drives after using a substance that causes impairment ever thinks they will seriously injure or kill someone. Yet, more than 10,000 people were killed by drunk drivers in 2018 across the United States — 20 in Rhode Island. These statistics don't include the number of fatalities caused by drivers who were under the influence of recreational and prescription drugs.
What are the dangers of driving while impaired?
Those who use drugs and alcohol lose the good judgment, alertness, coordination and control needed to safely drive a car. Crashes involving an impaired driver are often linked to:
- Alcohol. It's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher. At this level, drivers lack attentiveness and experience a decline in judgment, muscle control and the ability to stay within the lines of the road. While not usually as severe, drivers with a BAC level of 0.05 percent can experience less pronounced effects. In smaller amounts, alcohol can contribute to drowsiness.
- Recreational drugs. Marijuana and opioids are drugs that commonly cause impairment similar to the effects of alcohol.
- Prescription or over-the-counter meds. Prescription and over-the-counter medications used to treat pain, sleep disorders, colds and flus, anxiety, and muscle spasms may cause extreme drowsiness and impairment. Impairment caused by prescription and over-the-counter meds is an issue that doesn't often get scrutinized.
Why hire an attorney if you were injured by an impaired driver?
Impaired drivers often cause the most devastating crashes. Their lack of control and awareness leads them to drive at dangerous speeds, behave recklessly, or fail to respond to an emergency situation. Survivors of impaired driving crashes often sustain serious injuries, some of which can be permanent. These include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Amputations and crushed limbs
- Spinal injuries
- Damage to soft tissue and nerves
- Damage to internal organs
If you or a loved one was involved in a crash with an impaired driver, you have the right to pursue legal damages from the at-fault driver's insurance company. An experienced personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Mark B. Morse, LLC can take on the insurance company for you and help you get compensated for every penny you're entitled to. To learn more about the legal options available to you, contact us.