We have been hearing the message for decades all over the United States – do not drink and drive, as it is dangerous and it can take lives in an instant. Billions of dollars have been poured into this completely worthwhile effort, and while it has made a positive difference in terms of the fatality statistics around the country too many people are still killed by drunk drivers. As such, people who are convicted of killing someone in an accident while they were driving drunk face enormously punitive consequences in most states including Florida. These laws have been getting tougher in recent years.
These same laws apply to drivers who cause fatal accidents while under the influence of other intoxicants. If a motorist consumes a substance that impairs his or her ability to drive a vehicle safely and someone is killed as a result, that person can face a long prison term if convicted of that crime. Marijuana is obviously a substance that impairs a person’s ability to drive effectively, and an article appeared in the Sun-Sentinel this week that details the very sad situation involving a fatal motorcycle accident from a few months ago. A link to that article can be found here.
According to the article, a motorist who was 16 years old at the time allegedly smoked marijuana minutes before colliding with a motorcyclist while the victim was attempting to execute a U-turn. That motorcyclist was thrown from his vehicle and he landed on his head. He was not wearing a helmet and he was critically injured. Tragically, the 51-year-old man and citizen of Canada did not survive his injuries and the driver was arrested on suspicion of several charges.
The entire situation brings to light the fact that drugged driving is also a serious problem in Florida, as the state government reports that every year, more than 1,200 Florida car accidents occur where some form of drug is recorded as a factor. These crashes lead to nearly 1,000 injuries and to more than 100 fatalities. That equates to nearly 10 injuries every week and to nearly two fatalities on a weekly basis somewhere in the state because of these types of crashes.
It may be frustrating for the family of the man who was killed in this accident to have been forced to wait months for anything tangible to happen with regards to this matter. However, toxicology test results can take that long to obtain, and prosecutors want to be sure that they have everything properly organized before proceeding with this type of a case. Not to mention, there are other steps that can be taken by grieving families in furtherance of the effort of holding those responsible for this type of harm accountable.
If you have lost a loved one in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver, you also need to take action. Contact the Miami wrongful death lawyers at Bernstein & Maryanoff today to schedule a free initial consultation.