For many California residents, alcohol is the main culprit for driving under the influence. However, drugged driving has skyrocketed recently due to the national opioid epidemic and increased legalization of marijuana. This surge has led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to take additional steps to combat DUI by controlled substances.
It is the goal of the NHTSA to foster a discussion that can lead to a reduction of deaths and injuries caused by traffic accidents. The NHTSA's first effort in leading this discussion about drugged driving is to host a summit on March 15. The summit will cover topics including the best practices for educating the public, ways to consistently collect data related to drug-related collisions and researching new methods in testing and benchmarking the level of a driver's impairment.
The summit will include a wide range of interested parties other than the NHTSA. The list includes state and local law enforcement professionals, criminal justice experts, toxicology and drug experts as well as data and policy experts with experience in controlled substances. These stakeholders hope the summit will be the first step toward developing a course of action to combat driving under the influence of controlled substances.
An individual who has been injured in a collision with an impaired driver may be entitled to monetary damages. This compensation could cover medical bills, lost work and pain and suffering. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver or their insurance company. In situations where settlements break down, an attorney could press the claim in the court system by filing a lawsuit.