The Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility recently released a report which examined the rise in fatal car accidents wherein drugs were detected on the driver. According to their research, the number of people killed in the United States in drugged driving wrecks has surpassed the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents. In fact, illegal or prescription drugs were present in 43 percent of fatal crashes in 2015, whereas 37 percent tested positive for alcohol. It is likely that the ongoing opioid epidemic across the country has contributed to this rise in fatalities.
Detecting Drugged Driving Can Be Challenging
If a police officer suspects that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, they can instruct the driver to pull over, and the officer can use a Breathalyzer test to confirm whether the driver’s blood alcohol level is above the legal limit. However, there is currently no comparable roadside test to detect if a driver is impaired due to drugs. Therefore, the Governors Association is urging police departments to provide training so that their officers know what signs to look for if they suspect drugged driving.
According to a California Highway Patrol Sargent, there is a big difference between drunk driving and drugged driving and it can be very difficult to detect if you do not know the signs. Marijuana, which used to be easily detectable by its smell, now comes in different forms, many of which are odorless.
While the study raises awareness of a serious issue, the data has some limitations. Each state varies in how often tests are used and what specific substances are tested. For example, in nine states, over 85 percent of fatally injured drivers from 2015 were tested, while two states tested only 15 percent or less. In addition, the data does not provide specific information about the amount of the drug a person has in their system, only the presence of drugs. As many drivers are using more than one type of drug, this proves to be difficult to determine.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Drugged Driving
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving another driver who was under the influence of drugs, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We take drugged driving cases very seriously, and we will work tirelessly to conduct a thorough investigation of your case and hold the negligent party responsible. Our dedicated team will fight to secure the maximum financial compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.