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Virginia Bus Driver Charged with Drugged Driving after Crash Injures 13 People

Virginia Bus Driver Charged with Drugged Driving after Crash Injures 13 PeopleThe Virginia State Police reported a crash between a bus and a tractor trailer which left 13 people injured, and a bus driver in jail. According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, “a northbound bus from West Georgia Technical College drifted into the right lane [on I-81] and clipped a tractor-trailer…. After hitting the truck, the bus went off the left side of the interstate and came back onto the road. Then it ran off again, hit an embankment and overturned.”

Thirteen people were injured in the collision; so far, the injuries have been described as “non-life-threatening,” and no fatalities have been reported.

The bus driver was charged with possession of marijuana and being under the influence of drugs – though which drugs, though which drugs was not immediately clear. Police are also considering the role that fatigue may have played in the crash.

Driving under the influence of drugs is a more common problem than you might think

“Drugged driving,” or driving while under the influence of controlled or prescription substances, is an increasing problem. reports that in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, drugged driving led to more fatalities than drunk driving. The Governors Highway Safety Administration’s “Drug-Impaired Driving” report claims that just over half of all drivers who were fatally injured in crashes that year were tested for drugs. They found that 43% had drugs in their system:

  • 6% tested positive for marijuana.
  • 3% tested positive for amphetamines.
  • 1% tested positive for another type of drug.
  • 4% tested positive for a drug not listed in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (“FARS”) database.

Georgia’s laws against driving while impaired by drugs

Under Georgia Statute § 40-6-391, “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.” That includes “any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance, as defined in Code Section 16-13-21, present in the person’s blood or urine, or both, including the metabolites and derivatives of each or both without regard to whether or not any alcohol is present in the person’s breath or blood.”

But what does this mean?

If you are pulled over, regardless of whether or not the officer thought you were driving drunk, and that officer has reason to suspect that you are under the influence of drugs, you can be found “less safe” to drive. Having a prescription for that medication will not constitute a defense, either: if you are impaired, you can be charged, and if you are convicted, you could go to jail.

I was injured in a collision with a drugged driver – what do I do?

If you are hurt in a car crash with a drugged driver or a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering. If you are hit by a drugged driver:

  • Call the police, so there is a record of the collision.
  • Take pictures (if you are able) of the scene, your car, the other car, and any injuries that are immediately apparent.
  • Call for an ambulance to take you to the hospital if you are injured.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor within the two weeks following the crash (sooner is better than later), so that your medical records are up-to-date, and any injuries that did not present physically on the day of the crash can be recorded.

See to your health first; then, call a skilled Atlanta car crash lawyer to talk about your options moving forward. Insurance companies are notorious for “lowballing” settlement figures; having an attorney who represents you in those negotiations, or who will represent you in court if necessary, is in your best interests.

If you sustained injuries in a collision with a drugged driver in Georgia, Harris Lowry Manton LLP may be able to help. Our highly skilled Georgia car crash attorneys are here to uphold and protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, please call us in Atlanta at 404-961-7650, in Savannah at 912-651-9967, or fill out our contact form.

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