Drug Use Accidents

Aggressive Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Car Accident Victims Throughout Southern California

The dangers of drunk and drugged driving are well known at this point. However, people continue to get behind the wheel after taking over-the-counter and illegal drugs that impact their ability to drive. According to the National Highway Transportation Administration, approximately 56 percent of drivers involved in serious or fatal car accidents tested positive for at least one drug. At Power Trial Lawyers, our dedicated team of Southern California personal injury attorneys proudly represents accident victims who were injured in drug use accidents. We can help you understand your rights and prepare a compelling claim for compensation based on everything you’ve been through.

Drugged Driving Statistics

The first thing to know about drugged driving is that it is extremely common. According to a recent survey conducted in 2020, 12.6 million people admit to driving under the influence of drugs. This includes over-the-counter medication, prescription medicine, marijuana, and illegal drugs. While impaired drivers are always on the road, the highest percentage of drug-impaired drivers are on the road in the evening hours on Friday and Saturday. A 2017 study suggests that about 22.5 percent of all nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for one or more drugs.

In total, drug use accidents claim between 7,000 and 9,500 lives per year in the United States. California is responsible for about ten percent of the fatal drug use accidents in the country.

Is it Illegal to Drive Under the Influence of All Drugs?

Yes, under California’s DUI statute (Vehicle Code § 23152), “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.” This means that drivers can be cited for DUI and held responsible for causing a DUI accident if they are under the influence of street drugs, over-the-counter medication, prescription drugs or marijuana.

However, unlike alcohol, the law does not impose a per se limit on the amount of drugs in someone’s system. Instead, someone violates the law when they consume drugs, and the drugs impact their ability to drive safely.

What Are the Effects of Drugs on Someone’s Ability to Drive?

Drugs have different effects on people, depending on the drug. However, in general, drugs generally reduce a driver’s ability to make good decisions, increase their reaction time, reduce their motor coordination, and cause drowsiness. Each of these effects significantly increases the likelihood of drug use accidents.

Proving Liability in a Drug Use Accident

After an accident, it may not be clear if someone was impaired. However, if police were called, they may conduct a chemical test on the driver to determine if they have drugs or alcohol in their system. If so, the at-fault driver will probably be arrested and charged with DUI.

A DUI conviction, however, is not necessary to prove a personal injury case arising from a drug use accident. This is because the burden of proof in criminal cases is much higher than in personal injury cases. Thus, even if a drugged driver was acquitted in a criminal trial or wasn’t charged at all, victims of a DUI accident can still pursue a civil personal injury claim against the driver.

Power Trial Lawyers Skillfully Represents Victims of Drug Use Accidents Throughout Southern California

If you or a loved one was recently injured in an accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs, reach out to Power Trial Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers have more than a decade of experience aggressively bringing compensation on behalf of accident victims and their families, and know what it takes to help you pursue the justice you deserve. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today, call (888) 808-2179. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. We proudly represent clients in Los Angeles County and Orange County and have conveniently located offices in Los Angeles and Newport Beach.

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