South Carolina Attorneys for Accidents Involving Drivers Impaired by Medication or Drugs
Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident because another driver was impaired by medication or drugs? If so, you have the right to file a claim and receive compensation for your injuries. Compensation can help you pay for things such as hospital bills, missed time from work, and pain and suffering caused by the injury.
Drug use and medication can impair a driver’s faculties and drastically increase the chances of an accident. That is why every state in the U.S., including South Carolina, has laws against driving while under the influence of alcohol, some prescription medications, or illicit drugs.
No one should have to suffer because another driver was negligent and under the influence of drugs or medication while driving. The car accident attorneys of Evans Moore, LLC can help you file a personal injury claim and recover fair compensation for your injuries. Contact Evans Moore, LLC at (843) 995-5000 today to reach an experienced car accident and DUI attorney in South Carolina. We can discuss your case and your options for pursuing compensation. We offer a free consultation to get you started.
Causes of Impaired Driving in South Carolina
Everyone knows that driving while under the influence of alcohol can cause accidents and injuries. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving accounted for nearly 30% of all driving fatalities in 2019.
However, alcohol isn’t the only drug that can impair your ability to drive. When people use illegal drugs, some prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs while driving, lives are put at risk.
Below is a list of some of the most-used drugs and how they affect your driving:
- Marijuana. Although marijuana has become more acceptable in the United States recently, it is still illegal in South Carolina, especially if you are driving. Marijuana can slow reaction time, cause distractions, and affect your coordination and judgment on the road. When mixed with other substances, such as alcohol, it can be even more dangerous.
- Cocaine and methamphetamines. These drugs can cause drivers to be more aggressive, speed, drive recklessly, and in some instances, be more prone to road rage.
- Prescription drugs. It’s important not to drive if you’re using medicines that cause extreme drowsiness or other side effects that could affect your reaction time and decision-making ability. Drivers should speak with their doctors about medications they’re on and if they’re safe to take before driving. Also, it’s important that people don’t abuse their prescriptions.
- Anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs. These drugs can sometimes lead to drowsiness, weariness, and slowed reaction time.
- Allergy medications. Some allergy medications can cause drowsiness that makes staying alert while driving difficult.
- Sleeping medication. Medications used to help people sleep can be especially dangerous since sometimes the effects of the meds last until morning. When drivers go to work or head out in the morning, they could still be feeling the effect of the medication.
Different medications affect people in different ways, so it is important that drivers are aware of how these medications affect them and take responsibility to stay off the roads if they’re not competent to drive. Some of the more dangerous side-effects caused by drugs that can affect drivers include:
- Blurred vision
- Focusing or attention issues
- Hyper-activity or excitability
Any medication that comes with a warning not to operate heavy machinery after taking it, of course, should not be taken while driving. Drivers should always consult their doctor to see if the drugs they’ve been prescribed are safe to take while driving.
Unfortunately, many people in the United States think it’s perfectly fine to drive while under the influence of drugs and medications. But they’re wrong.
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Georgetown and suspect the driver who caused the accident was under the influence, contact Evans Moore, LLC today at (843) 995-5000. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Implied Consent Law
When people drive in South Carolina, they are agreeing to consent to a chemical breath, blood, or urine test if they are suspected to be under the influence. This is called implied consent law, and when drivers refuse to submit to a test, the Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend their license.
South Carolina also has a zero-tolerance law for driving under the influence. This means that if any level of drugs is detected in the blood or urine, a driver can be charged with DUI. Unfortunately, proving that a driver was under the influence of drugs and that those drugs affected their judgment can be difficult. Below are some of the reasons it can be so tough to prove:
- Some drugs stay in people’s systems for days or weeks after using them, making it difficult to determine when the drugs were used and how, or if, they affected a person’s driving.
- Roadside tests have a lot of problems, and a flawless test still does not exist.
- People often mix drugs with alcohol, making it difficult to determine which substance caused the accident.
- People are more often tested for alcohol than for drugs.
Because proving that a driver caused an accident because they were impaired by drugs or medication can be difficult, having an experienced impaired driving attorney on your side is the best way to make your case. Contact Evans Moore, LLC today at (843) 995-5000 to discuss the details of your case.
Penalties for Impaired Driving in South Carolina
Because driving under the influence is so dangerous, the penalties for DUI in South Carolina are harsh:
- First offense. A misdemeanor punishable with a $400 fine, imprisonment of up to 30 days or a minimum of 48 hours of community service, and a 6-month license suspension.
- Second offense. A misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $2,100, maximum fine up to $5,100, and imprisonment for no less than five days and no more than one year. One-year license suspension.
- Third offense. Misdemeanor punishable with fines between $3,800 and $6,3000. Imprisonment between 60 days and three years. 2-4 year license suspension.
- Subsequent offenses. A felony punishable with imprisonment between one and five years and permanent license revocation.
All offenders are also required to finish an Alcohol and Drug Safety Program. Also, drivers may be required to install an interlock breathalyzer device in their vehicle at their own expense.
Impaired Driving Statistics in South Carolina
Below are some statistics about driving under the influence in South Carolina and around the country:
- In 2018, over 12 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs.
- Over 40 percent of drivers involved in fatal car crashes test positive for drugs.
- Marijuana is the second-most common drug found in the blood of drivers after automobile crashes. Alcohol is the most common.
- Drinking and taking drugs and driving is more common among adults aged 21-25 than among younger populations.
At Evans Moore, LLC, we’ve been representing clients against impaired drivers for a long time. We’ve listed some of the questions we’re asked most often so you can get an idea of what may happen in your case. If you don’t see your question here or if you need clarification, call us at (843) 995-5000.
Do I need a lawyer if I’ve been in an accident?
Suffering from a car accident because another driver was under the influence of drugs, medications, or alcohol can be an extremely traumatic experience. It can also be a costly one where hospital and doctor bills, damaged vehicles, missed time from work, and ongoing treatment could cost thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. A lawyer can help you prove the other driver was at fault and receive fair compensation for your claim.
How much does a lawyer cost?
At Evans Moore, LLC, we work on a contingency-fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we successfully win your claim. There are no upfront costs. If we don’t win compensation for you, you don’t owe us anything.
Why choose Evans Moore, LLC?
Our attorneys have years of experience fighting for people in the community of Georgetown, South Carolina. We understand how to navigate the legal system and represent you in court if need be. We can help you file your claim accurately and on time, gather evidence and witness testimony, and present the strongest case possible.
Our clear, honest communication with clients earned us recognition as a Top 10 firm for client satisfaction from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. We’ve also been chosen by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40. If you work with us, we pledge to fight for the maximum financial compensation possible.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Georgetown
If you or a loved one was injured because another driver was under the influence of drugs, medication, or alcohol, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and pain and suffering. At Evans Moore, LLC, we take pride in aggressively defending our clients’ rights and helping them recover the financial compensation they deserve.
For a consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys in South Carolina, call us Evans Moore, LLC at (843) 995-5000 or contact us online. We look forward to speaking with you.