When a person in Florida thinks of someone driving under the influence, they may automatically assume that the driver was drunk. While most people in St. Augustine are very aware of the dangers of drunk driving, they may not be aware that drugged driving is also dangerous and the cause of many unnecessary car accidents.
Drugged driving refers not just to illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine or heroin. Certain prescription drugs or even over-the-counter drugs can have side effects that could make it unsafe to drive. Drugs can make a driver sleepy, can affect a driver’s ability to react to the unexpected, and can make it difficult to make sound judgments or stay alert. Any of these effects could make it difficult for a driver to respond appropriately to even the simplest of circumstances on the road. Moreover, some drivers get behind the wheel of a car after having consumed alcohol and drugs, which only increases their impairment and ability to drive safely.
Drugged drivers are a true danger to anyone driving in Florida. While a drugged driver may be penalized criminally just as a drunk driver would be, this does not always help victims of car accidents caused by drugged drivers. These victims may have incurred significant medical expenses, they may be unable to work and they may experience great pain and suffering. They may wonder if they have any recourse besides criminal prosecution.
Fortunately, depending on the circumstances, victims of car accidents caused by drugged drivers may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Drugged drivers should be held responsible for the damages they caused others by their irresponsible actions. Those in Florida who want more information about filing such a lawsuit after an accident may want to bring the matter up with an attorney.
Source: flhsmv.gov, “Drugs and Driving,” accessed Feb. 10, 2018