Taking to the Florida roads at this time of the year is a daunting prospect. Drivers need to be exceptionally alert to ensure they spot impaired drivers and avoid being victims of car accidents. There is no doubt that alcohol, prescriptions, controlled substances and even over-the-counter medicines could cause impairment and, often, car accidents with devastating consequences.
The following signs could indicate impairment:
- Weakened concentration
- Slow reaction times
- Compromised hand-eye coordination
- Short-term memory problems
- Perceiving distance and time difficulties
Many drivers think they know when to stop drinking and still be able to drive safely. In reality, impairment starts with the first alcoholic drink. The same applies to the use of controlled substances. Drivers younger than 21 may not buy, drink or even possess alcohol. Just having open containers of alcohol in their vehicles is against the law, even if the car is stationary.
Drugs can impair drivers in ways similar to alcohol. Prescription drugs or OTC medications are certainly capable of impairing drivers. Drinking alcohol while on medication can exacerbate its effect on drivers. For example, drinking a single alcoholic beverage while taking cold, flu or allergy medication causes the same impairment as consuming several drinks without medications.
Although law enforcement is out in full force during the holiday season, putting a drunk driver behind bars does not help the victims of accidents caused by DUI drivers. Fortunately, the Florida civil justice system allows such victims to pursue financial relief regardless of a criminal case outcome. Documented claims like medical expenses and other financial and emotional damages might be recovered after a successful presentation of a personal injury lawsuit.