There are many reasons why individuals in California and throughout the United States should avoid driving while influenced by drugs or alcohol. Perhaps the most immediate deterrent is that it’s illegal to do so. This is because alcohol and marijuana can result in reduced reaction time and problems with coordination while operating a motor vehicle. Those who use substances like cocaine may find that they are more aggressive while driving.

Individuals may become impaired after taking medications that have been prescribed to them by a doctor. Prescription medications have the potential to make a person drowsy or dizzy. In some cases, these and other side effects may present themselves with little or no warning. It’s important to note that people have a hard time judging their own levels of impairment. Therefore, it’s best to avoid driving altogether after having even a single drink or taking prescription medication of any kind.

Ideally, individuals who are planning on consuming drugs or alcohol will designate a driver to take them home before they go to a bar or party. Alternatively, a drinker can call a taxi or hail a ride using a smartphone app. Those who see that their friends or relatives are too impaired to drive should offer them rides home.

Someone who has been injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by an impaired driver may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Compensation for medical bills, lost wages or lost future earnings may be obtained in a settlement or through a jury verdict. The victim may want to pursue legal action with the help of a personal injury attorney. A lawyer might use witness statements or other types of evidence to establish that an accident was caused by a negligent driver.