Stronger laws and stiffer penalties have reduced the incidence of drunk driving, and they could do the same in Florida for drugged driving.
Tampa, Fla. (PRWEB) December 20, 2012
Tampa car accident attorney Larry Disparti said today that National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in December should inspire state leaders to consider laws that would reduce the risk of drugged driving accidents in Florida.
The White House has proclaimed December to be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month 2012.
“Stronger laws and stiffer penalties have reduced the incidence of drunk driving, and they could do the same in Florida for drugged driving,” said Disparti of The Disparti Law Group, P.A., whose Tampa personal injury lawyers represent victims of Florida car accidents.
“Adopting ‘per se’ drugged driving laws and continuing to fund training so local police can better recognize drugged driving are steps Florida legislators could possibly take to increase highway safety in our state,” Disparti said.
“Per se” drug laws make it illegal for a driver to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance in their body. “Per se” laws are also known as “zero tolerance” laws.
Seventeen states have enacted such “per se” drugged driving laws, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
Florida is among 49 states with Drug Evaluation & Classification Programs (DEC) that train law enforcement officers to become certified Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) who can successfully identify drug-impaired drivers and determine the category of drugs causing their impairment, according to the GHSA.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in 2009 that 16.3 percent of drivers tested on weekend nights had drugs in their systems. The NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) shows that 1 in 3 deceased drivers with known drug-test results tested positive for drugs, including illegal substances, and over-the-counter and prescription medications.
FARS data also say the overall number of drivers killed in car crashes in the U.S. has declined, but the involvement of drugs in fatal crashes has increased by 6 percentage points over the past six years.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Division’s Traffic Crash Statistics Report 2010 says 1,236 drug-related crashes occurred in the state in 2010 caused 106 fatalities and 957 personal injuries.
“It’s time for Florida to respond to drugged driving in a manner equivalent to the successful efforts to reduce drunk driving that were begun in the 1980s,” Disparti said.
The Tampa car accident attorney added that drivers who cause injury or death while under the influence of drugs should be held fully accountable.
“Anyone seriously injured in a car accident through no fault of their own, which was caused by a drugged driver, has a right to seek full compensation for their losses, pain and suffering from that driver or – really – that driver’s insurance company,” Disparti said. “It’s important for those victims to work with an attorney who has experience in drugged driving and other impaired driving cases.
About Disparti Law Group, P.A.
Disparti Law Group, P.A., is a Tampa Social Security disability benefits and personal injury law firm that handles a variety of personal injury claims, including car accidents, slip-and-fall or premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, nursing home neglect and inadequate security. Additionally, the firm provides legal assistance to individuals in cases involving Social Security Disability (SSD), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), railroad disability (FELA and RRB claims) and veterans’ benefits (including TSGLI claims). The firm serves clients across the U.S., including Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. and the South Florida communities of Tampa, Miami, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bonita Springs, Clearwater, Fort Meyers, Holiday, Naples and Port Charlotte. The firm features Florida offices at 1041 U.S. 19, Holiday, FL, 34691 (local phone 727) 934-7862) and 2203 N. Lois #830, Tampa, FL 33607 (local phone (813) 932-2942). To learn more about the Tampa Social Security Disability lawyers of the Disparti Law Group, P.A., call (800) 633-4091 or use the firm’s online contact form.