Drugs, alcohol and other intoxicating substances may give you temporary relief, but if you are caught driving while under the influence of substances (DUI) you are in for a lot more trouble than it is worth. One of the major causes of accidents is when a driver is impaired due to a drug or inhibiting substance. The consequences can be severe and discussion is beyond the scope of this article. But the legal ramifications as it pertains to a civil lawsuit is discussed below.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs and the like is a grave act which might have dangerous consequences for the pedestrians, other drivers as well as the person themselves. There are many preventive measures being applied to prevent drinking and driving incidents, but DUI cases are still prevalent in particular, during the holiday season.
What counts as DUI
DUI is a broad term which means driving under the influence of any substance which impairs your motor skills, perceptiveness and senses, such as alcohol, drugs, etc. Alcohol is the most prominent form of DUI as it is easily available and widely consumed.
There is a common misconception that DUI refers only to alcohol and illegal drugs, but this is a wrong notion. In actuality even prescribed medicine which might be used for treatment may fall under DUI. This usually happens when the prescription drugs are known to induce drowsiness, extreme exhaustion, dull the sense, or the like. Additionally, when certain medications are combined, the combination of such medicines may impair the senses, when, taken separate, they do not. Hence it is a must to be careful when taking medicine before driving out, as it may lead to an unwanted and troublesome situation. If you are taking medication, you are well advised to read all the instruction and indications in the medicine and to discuss how a medication may impair you as a side affect with your doctor or pharmacist.
As a side note, a bicycle is also a vehicle in the eyes of the law and hence a person may also be charged with DUI if found under the influence of an intoxicating substance while even riding a bicycle.
If a person is charged with DUI, he /she faces strict criminal proceedings where even jail time is possible.
- DUI cases are frowned upon both by society and the law. The impaired driver’s license can be revoked and he / she may also face a prison term.
- To reissue a license a costly fee is required and some states also require special additional coverage for reissuing licenses to individuals with a history of driving under influence of impaired substances.
- If proven that the defendant was driving under the influence, then a heavy monetary compensation may be claimed, which may sometimes run into millions.
- If a DUI driver is involved in an accident, the intoxicated driver is presumed to have been the main perpetrator of the accident and culpability against the intoxicated driver usually occurs.
Who can be held Liable
Sometimes it may not be necessary that the person who is driving under the influence will be the offender. If it can be proved that due to the negligence of the non intoxicated driver, the accident occurred, the intoxicated driver has a valid defense – but these cases are rare.
Any substance which affects attention, focus, coordination, sensory and motor functions of the body falls under the definition of DUI, but in many of these cases the counterparties tend to use certain alternatives which could leave you less than compensated for you time and injury. Therefore it becomes necessary to consult an attorney who would be able to provide you with a fair remedy and economic recover for your injuries, including pain and suffering.