Drugged driving has become increasingly common, especially as attitudes towards marijuana have shifted nationwide and the drug has become more accepted for medicinal and recreational purposes. The rise in drugged drivers has come at an unfortunate time, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates the number of drugged drivers has risen while there has been a big decline in the number of drunk drivers.
While more people are driving after using drugs, this does not mean the behavior is acceptable. Driving while under the influence of legal or illegal drugs can significantly increase the risk of collisions if those drugs cause impairment and result in symptoms like delayed reaction time or impaired judgment.
Drugged driving is illegal because of the dangers it presents, just as drunk driving is illegal. Unfortunately, drugged driving cases can be harder to make than drunk driving cases. This is mainly because there is no objective measure of impairment as there is with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) for drunk driving. The lack of objective proof a driver was too drugged to drive can create challenges in both criminal and civil cases. Still, if you have been hurt and want to bring a civil suit against the drugged driver who harmed you, a Beloit car accident lawyer can help.
TACKLING THE PROBLEM OF DRUGGED DRIVING
The Governors’ Highway Safety Association is working to try to reduce the rate of drugged driving in order to help keep all motorists safe on the roads. The GHSA is providing funding in the form of grants to select states. These grants will pay for law enforcement officers to undergo more extensive training. By the end of a one-year period, there should be 70 new Drug Recognition Experts who obtain certification due to the grant funding.
Four states were chosen to receive the current distribution of grant money from the GHSA. 22 states applied for grant money to try to access the funds available to address drugged driving. Although only a small number of states got money from the GHSA to address drugged driving this year, the program will be repeated and states will again get the chance to try to get a grant at the beginning of 2017.
Safety advocates agree that training is the key to law enforcement officers’ ability to detect when a driver is drugged and should not be driving any more. The president and CEO of a safety organization called Responsibility.org emphasized the need for training, stating: “Recent data suggests that impaired driving – whether the driver is drugged, drunk, drowsy or distracted – is a growing concern. Increased training for law enforcement officers is more important than ever in addressing this challenge.” Responsibility.org is sponsoring some of the police training that is occurring.
If you suspect that you or someone you love was injured by a drugged driver, you need to take prompt legal action. Steve Caya, an experienced car accident attorney in Beloit, can help you understand who is to blame and who should be named as defendant in a civil lawsuit. He can also provide assistance in fighting for full compensation for all damages caused by the allegedly impaired driver.