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Drug Impaired Driving


When you think of impaired driving, you may think of drunk driving. However, alcohol is not the only substance that causes impairment. Drugs such as prescription medications and recreational drugs can also make it harder to stay alert while behind the wheel.

Drug use makes it harder to drive safely. Even though marijuana use is legal in most states, it is not legal in Texas or under federal law. And because it is intoxicating, it is unsafe and illegal to use while driving, just like alcohol is. The same goes for all other drugs, including opioids, methamphetamines, heroin, and cocaine. Even over-the-counter drugs such as cough and cold medicines and allergy medications can cause drowsiness and impairment.

Alcohol and marijuana slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times, making them unsafe to use before driving. Cocaine and methamphetamine use can make drivers more aggressive and reckless.

Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are not always safe to use, Some can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and other side effects. Read and follow all warning labels before driving. Note that warnings against operating heavy machinery include driving a vehicle.

Some people use just one drug at a time, but there are those who use two or more. When doing so or combining the drugs with alcohol, this can amplify the impairment.

Those who plan to use prescription medications or recreational drugs can reduce the risk of an accident by being responsible. Here are some smart choices to make:

  • Plan ahead for a sober driver if impairment is a possibility.
  • Don’t let friends get behind the wheel if they are under the influence.
  • If you’re hosting a party where drugs or alcohol will be present, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • Always wear your seatbelt when driving in case you are in an accident with an impaired driver.

Marijuana Use

Marijuana use before driving is not safe, although there are many misconceptions about this. Some people believe that marijuana is 100% safe and cannot impair you at all. Some actually think marijuana makes you a better driver.

These rumors are false. Research shows that marijuana impairs motor skills, lane tracking, and cognitive functions. The THC in marijuana also hurts a driver’s ability to multitask, which is necessary for drivers to be able to react quickly to road hazards.

In fact, marijuana users are more likely to be involved in crashes. However, marijuana users are more likely to be young men, who face a higher risk of accidents in general.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Many people take prescription medications or recreational drugs, but they need to be responsible when doing so. These drugs can cause impairment, making accidents more likely.

Contact a Houston car accident attorney from The West Law Office, PLLC if you have been involved in a crash. We will ensure you receive customized and sensitive legal advice so you get the best outcome possible. Fill out the online form or call 281-347-3247 to schedule a free consultation.



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