Syracuse Car Accident Attorney Joins Call for Crackdown on Drugged Driving

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New York personal injury lawyer Scott C. Gottlieb of the Law Offices of Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates says he supports improving technology and training for local law enforcement in their efforts to stem the rising threat of drugged driving accidents.

As an attorney who represents victims of New York auto accidents, I’ve personally become more and more concerned about the rise in car crashes that are caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs[.]

Syracuse car accident attorney Scott C. Gottlieb today said he supports New York Sen. Charles Schumer’s call for providing more funds to combat the growing threat posed by drugged drivers.

“As an attorney who represents victims of New York auto accidents, I’ve personally become more and more concerned about the rise in car crashes that are caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs – and not just illegal drugs,” said Gottlieb of the Syracuse personal injury firm, the Law Offices of Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates. “The number of drivers who are taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs that impair their driving has become a problem as well.

“In my view, drugged driving is just as serious of a public safety concern as drunk driving,” he said. “That’s why I wholly support any measures that would help law enforcement to get these reckless drivers off the road and protect innocent motorists.”

In a January 30 announcement, Schumer called for passage of the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011. The bill would increase funding for the research of drugged-driving detection technology. It also would provide grants to states to train officers on identifying drugged drivers.

Citing New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services statistics, Schumer said that drugged driving arrests in the state have increased by 35 percent since 2001.

In Central New York (a region that includes Syracuse, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Rome, Utica, Oneida, Auburn, Cortland, Little Falls and surrounding communities), there were 147 drugged driving arrests, Schumer said.

The senator cited other alarming statistics from 2009 (the last year such statistics are available):

  •     According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, out of the 12,055 drivers who died in car accidents in the U.S. in 2009 who were tested for drugs, one-third tested positive.
  •     Based on an estimate by the Institute for Behavior and Health, 440,000 people across the U.S. were injured in 2009 in car crashes caused by drugged driving.

“The bottom line is that our cops need a breathalyzer-like technology that works to identify drug-impaired drivers, on-the-spot, before they cause irreparable harm,” Schumer said. “With the explosive growth of prescription drug abuse, it’s vital that local law enforcement have the tools and training they need to identify those driving under the influence of narcotics to get them off the road.”

If a person is harmed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drug-impaired driver – or if they lose a family member in such an accident – Gottlieb said they have a legal right to hold the driver accountable.

Through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, an auto accident victim or survivors of a person killed in a crash may be able to recover compensation through a jury verdict or insurance settlement that includes medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other related damages, the Syracuse personal injury lawyer said.

“Through our civil justice system, you can send a message to the drugged driver and others that such reckless conduct won’t be tolerated in our community,” he said.

About Law Offices of Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates

Law Offices of Scott C. Gottlieb & Associates handles all types of personal injury and medical malpractice cases, including cases involving drunk-driving accidents, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases. The firm has offices in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse and Watertown. For more information, call 1-800-TALK-LAW or use the firm’s online contact form.

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