Drunk driving prevention campaigns are everywhere. Billboards, TV ads and high school programs all attempt to stop drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking. This is a good thing, and has helped lower the number of alcohol related accidents.
The problem is that as drunk driving accident rates decrease, the number of accidents caused by drugged drivers continues to rise. In fact, according to a study of seriously injured drivers at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, 51 percent of the sampled drivers tested positive for illegal drugs, compared to only 34 percent who tested positive for alcohol.
Illegal Drugs Commonly Used by Drugged Drivers
While rates of specific drug use vary from study to study, the most common illegal, non-prescription drugs used by drugged drivers are:
- Methamphetamine (meth)
- Amphetamines (speed, uppers)
- Opiates (heroin)
Drugged Driver Detection a Problem
If you are suspicious that the driver who caused your accident was under the influence of drugs, you may already know how difficult this is to prove.
Unlike drunk driving, there is no easy-to-administer breath test. Blood must be drawn to determine if the driver was using drugs before the crash. However, even if a blood test is taken it can be difficult to prove a driver was affected by a drug at the time of the accident.
This is because there is no clear relationship between impairment and blood levels of a drug.
Blood levels can rise and fall depending on the drug and the time it was taken, making it hard to determine if the drug was taken just before the accident or days prior. In addition, each person metabolizes drugs differently, so there is no benchmark for impairment as there is with levels of alcohol use.
Getting Help After an Accident
As you can see, proving that a driver was under the influence of drugs can be nearly impossible. However, our Bristol, Pa. car accident lawyers have dealt with difficult-to-prove cases—and won. Please call 800.860.5801 and setup a free consultation with one of our experienced, aggressive Bucks County personal injury attorneys.