Driving while impaired by any legal or illegal substance is against the law in Georgia, and the reason why is clear. Alcohol and marijuana, for instance, can make one inattentive and slow down muscle coordination and judgment, which do not make for safe driving. Cocaine and meth cause aggression and recklessness while certain medications induce drowsiness as a side effect.

Yet drug-impaired driving is widespread. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a National Roadside Survey from 2013 to 2014 and found that 20% of surveyed drivers tested positive for drugs. Among those who were driving at night during the weekend, 12.6% were found with marijuana in their system, which was 48% more than the 8.6% who tested positive for it in the 2007 National Roadside Survey.

In 2018, NHTSA launched a campaign called If You Feel Different, You Drive Different in order to educate drivers about the dangers of drug-impaired driving. NHTSA also brought together law enforcement officials, drug experts and others to discuss strategies for addressing this trend.

It first of all comes down to knowing the facts. Marijuana, for example, does impair driving despite certain rumors saying that it improves a driver’s safety. Then, those who are impaired must designate a sober driver to take them where they need to go. They should do the same for friends.

If drugs are involved in an MVA, there’s the possibility that those who were injured can file a claim and be covered for their losses. A personal injury claim may cover things like past and future medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, pain and suffering and emotional trauma. Insurance companies can be aggressive in denying claims, so victims may want legal representation. The lawyer may help gather evidence of negligence with the help of investigators.