DUI Chase in Bellingham Leads to Single Vehicle Crash
As reported by KGMI.com, a DUI chase on I-5 in Bellingham led to charges of unlawful imprisonment and vehicular assault. According to Washington State Patrol (WSP) Trooper Jacob Kennett, the car was seen speeding and driving erratically on I-5 southbound near Bakerview Road at around 11:15 p.m. the night of Tuesday, July 19. The driver ignored troopers who tried to pull the vehicle over, continuing to drive at high speeds. At that point, troopers began pursuing the vehicle until it got off at the North Lake Samish Road exit. WSP later found the car crashed into a tree with the driver and the passenger still inside. Troopers were forced to break a window in order to save them, at which time the passenger claimed that the driver wouldn’t let her get out of the car. The passenger was then taken to the hospital to treat the serious injuries they suffered in the single vehicle crash. The driver admitted to law enforcement that he had done drugs before getting behind the wheel and now faces DUI, vehicular assault, unlawful imprisonment, and reckless driving charges.
We Fight for Victims of DUI Crashes
Tario & Associates, P.S. has over 40 years’ experience representing victims of drunk and drugged driving car accidents. When you have been seriously injured through no fault of your own, you may need a legal advocate who will fight for the settlement you deserve. Car accident attorneys typically offer free consultations and no up-front fees; accepting payment from a percentage of the settlement. Call a local injury lawyer for help today.
Why do people drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Most people would never think of themselves as someone who would intentionally get behind the wheel high or intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes people have a drink or two or smoke a little pot and may not realize that they are not safe to drive. In other cases, they may know that they have had too much to drink or taken too many drugs to drive safely but they don’t want to leave their vehicle overnight or feel pressure to act like they haven’t lost control. Whatever the reasons, the risks are just not worth it.
How do drugs affect driving ability?
Different drugs affect us differently and different people may react differently to the same drug, but in general:
- Marijuana can slow reaction times, decrease coordination and the ability to judge speed and distance. This can lead to weaving in and out of lanes or turning in front of a vehicle that is too close to clear.
- Cocaine and other methamphetamines can cause aggressive and reckless driving such as excessive speeding and tailgating.
- Prescription medicines, including opioids and benzodiazepines, can cause dizziness and drowsiness and impair judgment. Some studies have found that drivers under the influence of opioids are doubling the risk for a car crash.
All of these effects – either individually or in combination with alcohol – are very dangerous and likely increase the risk of a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, it is common for drivers who drive drugged to also consume alcohol – making it difficult for researchers to fully understand the effects of any particular drug on its own. Researchers agree that more research is needed to determine the effects of different types of drugs on their own, separate from alcohol.
Drugged driving accident statistics
The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that:
- 6 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs in the last year.
- Men are more likely than women to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The age group most likely to engage in drugged driving are those between 21-25.
According to FARS data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, 19.7 percent of drivers who had taken drugs and drove tested positive for some type of opioid.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 43.6 percent of drivers who were fatally injured in crashes in 2016 tested positive for drugs and over half of those drivers had two or more drugs in their system.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!