Driving under the influence of illegal drugs or certain prescription medications can not only impair someone’s ability to drive safely but also lead to DUI charges in Illinois.
Drugged driving is one of the top 25 causes of car accidents, and can result in very serious — or fatal — injuries. According to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, almost 10 million people drive under the influence of illegal drugs every year. Unfortunately, one in five motorists tests positive for drugs after a fatal crash.
When you’ve been the victim of an auto accident involving a drugged driver, you’re likely facing mounting medical bills, lost wages as you recover, significant physical pain and perhaps emotional trauma stemming from your crash. You may have a claim for compensation of your injuries and other losses from the driver who caused your crash. A skilled lawyer can evaluate your case and explain your options for a claim.(312) 236-2900.
How Drugs Affect Driving
Drugs ranging from marijuana and hallucinogens to antidepressants can alter a driver’s state of mind. Some common side effects that affect one’s ability to drive include:
- Image distortion
- Poor judgment of time and space
- Poor depth perception
- Inability to focus
- Diminished reflexes
- Increased heart rate
Even drugs legally purchased or prescribed by a physician can become as dangerous as alcohol intoxication, and driving under the influence can lead to serious car accidents.
While taking any medication, you should double check warning labels and research potential impairments before getting behind the wheel. If possible, avoid driving any time that you are taking antidepressants, Valium, sleeping pills, or strong painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycodone.
Illinois Drugged Driving Laws
Under Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-501), it is prohibited for a person to operate any vehicle while “under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely.” The consequences of a conviction can include jail time, fines, loss of driving privileges, and a permanent criminal record.
When there is probable cause of a DUI-related accident resulting in injury or death, Illinois law requires the motorist to submit to a chemical drug test. Substances such as cannabis, methamphetamines, and other controlled substances, if found in a driver’s blood or urine, can lead to legal repercussions. Penalties vary from license revocation to up to 7 years of imprisonment for a Class 2 Felony conviction, depending on the offender’s age and past criminal history.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered an auto accident injury because someone else drove under the influence of drugs, you will need a Chicago personal injury lawyer with experience in defending victims of DUID incidents. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. has successfully represented many car accident victims and their families and helped them to recover from tragedy.
We will fight for the compensation that you deserve for any physical and psychological damages caused by your car accident. In the past, clients have won settlements to cover the cost of accident-related medical expenses such as hospital visits, x-rays, diagnostic testing, pain medication, counseling services, and physical therapy.
The attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. provide individual care and attention to every client. We can help you navigate the complex legal system and ease your burdens in the aftermath of a serious auto accident.
Don’t miss this article: Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents and What You Can Do To Prevent Them. For this month of October, the Illinois attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will be developing a blog series breaking down these leading causes of car crashes.