When citizens of Chicago learn of a “DUI” accident, most people typically think that the driver was drunk. But many car accidents involving drivers who are found to be driving under the influence are actually on drugs, both legal and prescription medications. According to the Illinois State Police, hundreds of people die needlessly as the result of drinking or drugged driving each year. Further, many more people are seriously injured or suffer permanent disabilities. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver, it is important to contact a local injury attorney who can maximize a recovery for your suffering and losses.
People using illegal drugs should not be getting behind the wheel. It can be as dangerous as drinking and driving. And legal drugs can also impair one’s ability to drive. Prescription drugs are known to cause side effects such as dizziness, sleepiness, or blurred vision. Illinois law prohibits the use of drugs or any combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving. People may not realize the extent to which certain prescribed substances and illegal drugs can affect their ability to drive a motor vehicle safely. And sometimes the driver can be so impaired that they negligently cause an accident that injures and may even kill innocent people.
According to a Chicago Tribune article, a man from Barrington Hills has been charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants in connection with an accident that took place on March 3 of this year. The accident caused the death of a 61-year-old Elgin man, and seriously injured the man’s fiancée. The Assistant State Attorney announced the specific charges as including aggravated DUI involving death and aggravated DUI involving great bodily harm.
The tragic accident took place on Illinois Highway 59. As the 18 year-old driver’s SUV was heading northbound on the highway, he sideswiped a southbound car and then struck another car head-on, allegedly causing the death of the innocent driver and injuring his passenger. The teenaged driver who was subsequently arrested was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his minor injuries. The analysis of his blood revealed that it contained a strong prescription sedative called Lorazepam. During a search of the car, the police found a bottle of Lorazepam, but noted that he did not have a prescription for the medication. According to reports, the police also found other drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $100,000.
Automobile accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the most preventable cause of car accidents is driver impairment, be it from alcohol or drug use. Raising awareness of the kinds of injuries that can result from such offenses is one of the ways to help deter driving under the influence. Victims of such unnecessary crimes are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries and losses. The extent of one’s entitlement to recovery may vary depending on what state you live in. It is important to consult with a local injury attorney who thoroughly understands the applicable laws and procedures in Illinois.