If you are involved in a car accident and you feel like drugs are a cause of the incident, then the other driver can be charged with driving under the influence. This can help to solidify a negligence case against the other driver, and you may be able to win an auto accident claim with the assistance of a lawyer. If vehicle damage was extensive or if injuries occurred during the incident, then suing the driver is often the best option to help you with your costs. However, you should understand that it may be difficult to prove that the driver was impaired by drugs during the accident. This may mean that your lawyer will need to prove negligence based solely on the actions of the driver during the incident. To better understand why it may be difficult to prove that the driver was impaired by drugs, keep reading.
Drug Tests May Not Be Completed
Sometimes, a blood test will be taken if a police officer feels that a driver is impaired by alcohol. This is often done at a local hospital and the blood is analyzed to see how much ethanol alcohol is in the blood. The test will then provide the hospital and the police with an accurate percentage of alcohol per blood volume. This is called the BAC and legal intoxication is noted when the concentration is over .08. Blood alcohol tests are simple, easy, and hospitals are prepared to complete them when there is a need.
Unfortunately, most hospitals only take a small blood sample when they are asked to complete an alcohol blood test. Remaining blood is usually discarded as medical waste, and this occurs fairly quickly after the initial testing is completed. This usually means that there is no blood leftover to complete drug testing if the police officer feels there is a need at a later date.
The police officer will also need probable cause to ask the driver to submit to a drug test, and the officer may not suspect that drugs are the cause of the accident or of poor driving until a blood alcohol test indicates that there is little or no alcohol in the driver's system. At this point, the officer may need a warrant to compel the driver to take the test, but there may be very little evidence to support the warrant. Even if the officer does have probable cause immediately after the accident for the drug test, the driver can refuse to submit blood.
Testing May Not Provide Good Results
In the case that a drug test can be completed after an auto accident, the results may not be able to help your claim as much as you think. Drug tests are completed to detect certain classes of drugs or their metabolites in the blood stream. Some of these classes of drugs include benzodiazepines, cannabis, opiates, and nicotine byproducts. While these drug classes do contain illegal drugs, they also contain legal ones. Drug tests do not indicate which drug has been taken in each class. For example, an individual may have taken cough medicine with codeine if they tested positive for opiates, or they may have used heroin. It is possible that the individual even ate a poppyseed muffin the day of the accident and tested positive for opiates afterwards. This means that test results are up for interpretation and the other driver's lawyer will likely use this to their advantage in court.
The drug test may also indicate that legal prescriptions are taken, like in the case when the drug test shows benzodiazepines in the blood. These drugs can be taken improperly or illegally even if they are prescribed to the driver. The medications can cause side effects like dizziness and drowsiness if the drugs are taken as prescribed, and these effects can increase when improper dosages are taken. However, if the driver has a prescription for the medication, it can be impossible to prove that they took too much of the drug or that the medication itself caused side effects that led to the auto accident. For more information, click here to investigate professionals who might be able to help.