New Test to Detect Drugged Driving
Driving while under the influence is a nationwide epidemic. Impaired driving is not limited to alcohol; it includes marijuana, synthetic drugs, and prescription pills known as opiates. The Los Angeles Times reported that the San Diego police are using new methods to confirm the condition of a driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. The two Drager Drug Test 5000 machines, commonly known as the mouth swab, cost about $6,000 per machine. The machine tests for seven different drugs including cocaine, methadone, methamphetamine, marijuana, benzodiazepines, and amphetamine.
It is a concern with the passing of the legalization of marijuana that the likelihood of impaired drivers will increase. Like the breathalyzer, a driver can refuse to take the Drager Drug Test. In 2014, California had 38% of drivers who were killed in motor accidents by drivers who were impaired by legal or illegal drugs. That is a 32% increase from the previous year. By placing checkpoints throughout San Diego, the goal is to get impaired drivers off the road.
Officers are trained to recognize impaired driving and permitted to conduct field sobriety tests or submit a Drager Drug Test. Information gathered from the Drager Drug Test is admissible in court; however, the results are not an obvious key factor used in prosecution. California law does not state a specific limit while driving under the influence of drugs but the law while driving under the influence of alcohol is very clear. Officers and prosecutors use substantial and circumstantial evidence to build a case, as each driver’s condition varies from person to person.
Spotting a Drugged Driver
Drivers need to understand the signs and warnings of an impaired driver. The more aware a driver is about impaired driving, the higher chance the driver has of avoiding an accident with an impaired driver. Signs you can use to recognize a drug impaired driver include:
- If you see a car that is sporadically hitting the brakes, it is best that you slow down and allow ample space between you and that car.
- Swerving can fatally injure you as well as other drivers on the road. Do not try to pass a car that is swerving.
- Impaired drivers minds can wonder off causing them to come into other lanes. Never switch lanes or pass when you see a car that swerves.
- Driving too slowly is another indication a driver may be impaired by drugs.
- Disobeying traffic signals and traffic signs are also a sign of impaired driving.
Officers are our first line of defense in identifying drug-impaired drivers. However, we should be cognizant and observant of the cars around us. If we notice erratic behavior in drivers, the next sudden move can be fatal. The best thing to do is stay away and alert police.
Fresno and Central California Valley Drug-Impaired Accident Attorneys
If a drug-impaired driver causes an accident, that driver can be held liable for any damages and injuries arising from that accident. Because being impaired is not “cause” of an accident, you must still prove that the driver did something (i.e. failing to yield right of way, rear-end crash, speeding, etc.) that caused the collision to recover compensation. Our Fresno accident attorneys can help you prove you did not cause the crash.
Contact Torem & Associates by telephone at (888) 500-5000or online by using the contact form on our website for a free consultation.