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My wife and I were injured in an accident with a driver who wasn’t drunk. Instead of alcohol, he had consumed prescription medicine before he drove. Can we still sue him for our losses?

Published February 6, 2018 by Bruce Millar

Probably. Georgia’s “drunk driving” law applies to “drugged driving,” as well. It is actually a law against driving under the influence, whether of alcohol or illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs.

Although most impaired driving accident cases involve a driver who was intoxicated by beer, wine, or liquor at the time of the accident, liability can be established in Georgia against a driver who was impaired by any substance. This includes:

  • Illegal drugs (controlled substances), such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine (“meth”), ecstasy (MDMA), or LSD.
  • Prescription drugs, like pain medications or antihistamines, which can cause drowsiness.
  • Over-the-counter drugs, such as cough medicine or allergy medicines, which can also cause drowsiness.
  • Any glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapor, which when sniffed or “huffed” causes a euphoric high.

Georgia’s law is very strict. It makes it illegal to drive with “any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance” in the driver’s blood or urine. The law also refers to use of the above substances as illegal when they make or cause the driver to be “less safe” to operate (drive) a car or truck or motorcycle.  Even a herbal supplement that adversely impacts a driver’s ability to drive safely could be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

If you believe the driver who caused your accident and injuries was impaired by any form of drug, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. It may be necessary to seek a court order to have the driver’s blood or urine tested for the level of drugs in their system without too much of a delay.

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