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Drugged Driving in Florida

accidentWhen most people think of DUI, they tend to think of driving under the influence of alcohol. While DUIs are commonly associated with drunk driving, Florida law also recognizes the offense of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). If you or someone close to you was injured by a drugged driver, you should reach out to a Miami injury attorney immediately. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we can examine the facts of your case and help you seek the damages you deserve.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there were about 3,494 drug-related car accidents in Florida in 2014. Data indicates that about 25 percent of all impaired accidents involve drugs. Under Florida Statute § 893.03, a motorist who is under the influence of any of the following substances may be charged with drugged DUID in Florida:

  • Cocaine
  • Codeine
  • Ecstasy
  • Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Morphine
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

It is important to note that legally prescribed drugs may also result in a DUID. The general rule to remember is that if a person’s ability to drive is impaired (regardless of the cause), he or she should not be getting behind the wheel. For example, a prescription drug that causes drowsiness could cause a serious accident and resulting injuries.

If you were hurt in a Florida auto accident due to a driver being under the influence of drugs, you can typically seek compensation from that driver through a negligence claim. Proving negligence necessitates the accident victim to demonstrate that the defendant failed to use reasonable care behind the wheel and that this failure to use reasonable care was a direct cause of the victim’s injuries.

Under negligence per se principles, a person will automatically be presumed to have violated the duty of care if he or she broke a law designed to protect a particular group of people from a specific type of harm. The Florida statute against driving under the influence of drugs is designed to protect others on the road from harm. Thus, a person who is convicted of a DUID is presumed to have been negligent if the DUID behavior caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In these types of cases, in contrast with ordinary negligence claims, the plaintiff need not show that the driver breached the duty of care. It would be sufficient to show that the defendant violated the statute.

Victims of DUID accidents often suffer serious and long-term injuries. Fortunately, Florida law permits injured victims to recover compensation for losses including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and property damage.

Drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs pose a serious risk to others on the road. If you or your loved one was hurt by a drugged driver, we can help. Our Miami car accident lawyers can help you pursue the damages you deserve. We understand that DUID accidents affect not only the accident victim but also the victim’s family. To discuss your case in more detail, do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online.

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Medication Errors in Florida,  South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, March 27, 2017

Chair Accidents and Injuries in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, March 27, 2017

Shopping Cart Injuries to Children in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, March 27, 2017