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Is Drugged-Impaired Driving in Atlanta on the Rise?

Does it seem like you are reading more reports of drugged drivers in Atlanta? According to a recent government study, drugged-driving accidents are increasing in Georgia and throughout the United States.

In 2010, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the first-ever analysis of drug use among fatally injured drivers involved in U.S. motor vehicle crashes. The researchers used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) covering crashes over the five-year period from 2005 to 2009. The results showed a steady increase in the level of drug involvement among fatally injured drivers during this period.

Sixty-three percent of the 21,798 drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2009 underwent drug testing. Of these, 18 percent or 3,952 drivers tested positive for drug involvement. The tests screened for included illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs, including narcotics, stimulants, depressants, cannabinoids, hallucinogens, phencyclidines, anabolic steroids, and inhalants.

Year        Drug Involvement among Fatally Injured Drivers
2005               13%
2006               15%
2007               16%
2008               18%
2009               18%

While these tests show a definite increase in drugged driving, they are not conclusive. Not all states conduct drug testing; those that do have varying criteria for measuring drug impairment.

What is the difference between being injured by a drugged driver and being injured by a drunk driver in Georgia? There is no legal difference. Any driver whose ability to operate a vehicle is impaired is driving under the influence regardless of whether the impairment is caused by alcohol, illegal drugs, or an improperly taken prescription. A driver who makes the choice to drive while impaired puts others at risk.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one to a drugged driver in Atlanta, you deserve accountability. Atlanta DUI injury attorney Shane Smith fights for the rights of families whose lives are changed by the reckless behavior of drivers under the influence. To schedule a free consultation with Shane Smith, contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 866-979-1629.

Atlanta DUI injury attorney Shane Smith has written a book to help the victims of impaired drivers. Click on the link at the top of the page to request your free copy of I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? The Guide for Victims of Georgia Drunk Driving Accident.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia