If you’ve been involved in a car accident caused by a drugged driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is incredibly dangerous and can put the driver and all other people on the road at risk for injury or death. Injuries associated with car accidents can be life-changing, causing devastating injuries that last throughout one’s life. However, if you’ve been injured in a car accident with a drugged driver, you may be able to file a claim against them to recover damages associated with your injuries.
DUI Statistics for Florida and United States
There are a shocking amount of accidents caused by DUI in the United States each year. In Florida in 2017, there were 5,125 accidents that involved the use of drugs or alcohol in at least one driver. Out of those accidents, there were 3,035 people who suffered injuries and 374 deaths.
In the United States, DUIs cause about 28% of all traffic-related deaths while drugs cause approximately 16% specifically. In 2019, there were 10,142 car accident fatalities associated with driving under the influence.
When ranking the states on who has the most DUIs, Florida comes in at number 40, with 32,127 DUI arrests each. While it’s not the most dangerous state for driving under the influence, it’s still pretty dangerous, with approximately 26% of traffic deaths occurring because of drugged or drunk driving in 2018.
Florida Drugged Driving Laws
In Florida, you can be convicted of a DUI for alcohol if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .08%. This refers to how much alcohol is in your body at the time of the stop. .08% is considered to be the limit at which you’re able to properly operate your vehicle. This is referred to as the per se limit. ,
However, when it comes to drugs, there isn’t a per se limit like there is for drunk driving. That means that anyone who takes drugs and then operates a vehicle is at risk for a DUI, even those using a vehicle while on prescription drugs.
Florida’s drugged driving laws specifically refer to controlled substances and harmful chemicals when speaking about DUI. Harmful chemicals are chemicals that can be huffed, allowing someone to experience a “high” feeling. Those chemicals include:
- Nitrous oxide
- Isopropyl alcohol
- And other inhalants
When talking about controlled substances, the Florida law refers to:
How Do Drugs Affect Driving Ability?
Driving while drugged is incredibly dangerous, as one’s ability to drive with utmost care sharply decreases after the consumption of drugs. When driving under the influence of drugs, drivers may experience impaired vision and hearing, loss of critical thinking skills, loss of decision-making ability, and increased ability to be distracted.
Drugged drivers may be easily distracted by bright lights, signs, and other vehicles, making it much harder for them to stay in their lane and pay attention to the road. When this loss of ability occurs, it’s much easier for a person under the influence of drugs to cause an accident, hurting others around them (and themselves).
What to do After You’ve Been in an Accident with a Drugged Driver
After you’ve been involved in an accident with a drugged driver, you may feel shaken up, stressed, or scared. Those are all completely normal reactions to accidents. However, there are a few things you need to accomplish immediately after an accident, so don’t leave the scene immediately.
Before leaving the scene of the accident, you should:
- Contact the police to let them know you were involved in an accident with someone you believe to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If possible, exchange information with the at-fault party. If they don’t seem like they know what’s going on, just wait for the police to arrive.
- Speak to anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Ask them to stick around and speak to the police when they arrive.
- Collect your own evidence by taking pictures of both vehicles, your injuries, and the surrounding area. Record a statement for yourself so you can return to it in the future.
After leaving the scene of the accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. Head directly to a hospital, emergency room, or your regular doctor. Tell them that you were involved in a car accident.
After receiving medical attention, you should contact an attorney. It’s important to do this before you reach out to your insurance company, as they can speak to the insurance companies on your behalf, preventing you from accidentally damaging your case.
Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney for my DUI car accident case?
Hiring an attorney is a vital step in your car accident claim process. While you could attempt to argue a settlement on your own behalf, an insurance company may not take you seriously, resulting in low settlement offers.
By hiring an attorney, you’ll receive the best care and the compensation that you deserve. Here at Eberst Law Firm, we work hard to get the best settlements for our clients. We won’t stop pushing until you get the compensation that you deserve.