Drunk and drugged driving is illegal in the state of Texas, but there are some exceptions. In some cases, these exceptions can be dangerous and lead to someone's injury or death.
For example, it's not illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration level below 0.08 percent. Yet, many drivers who do are at a greater risk of causing a crash than someone who is completely sober.
Impairment begins at a BAC of 0.02%
According to the NHTSA, more than 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving crashes each year in the United States. The true impact of every drunk driving crash isn't clear.
That's because alcohol impairment can begin at a BAC level as low as 0.02 percent. This is when drivers may start feeling some relaxation and slight loss of judgment. While most people can drive OK at this point, it only takes one small error of judgment, distraction and recklessness to cause a crash. That's because safe driving requires full attention and caution.
At a level of 0.05 percent, while still legal, it becomes more dangerous to drive. That's because drivers experience:
- More loss of muscle control
- Loss of judgment
- Release of inhibition
- Loss of alertness
- Steering challenges
- Difficulty with visually tracking objects
- Slowed response to emergency situations
Prescription drugs, over-the-counter meds are a common cause
We often hear about the dangers of drunk or drugged driving from law enforcement and safety advocates. Have you ever heard any safety advocates warning about dangers of taking nighttime cold medicine and then driving? What about driving after using certain prescription drugs?
This is a topic that isn't discussed nearly as much as it should be. Many cold medicines (and other over-the-counter meds) and prescription drugs can cause some degree of impairment, even if it's not as severe as alcohol or recreational drugs.
Another common danger of using these medications is the risk of drowsy driving, since many of these are designed to induce relaxation, pain relief and sleep.
What are my legal options if I was injured by an impaired driver?
If you were involved in a crash with an impaired driver, you may be suffering from serious or long-term injuries, or worse, you may have lost a loved one. That's why you have the legal right to take action against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company.
To find out how, it's best to speak to an experienced Laredo, Texas car accident attorney who can help you pursue a legal claim and get the justice you deserve. To find out how, schedule your free consultation with attorney John R. Solis simply by filling out our contact form.