Friday, January 7, 2011

Impaired Driving: DUI and Medical Conditions of Drivers

Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accident death and injuries. While driving impaired usually means driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it may also be in the form of driving with a medical condition or elderly driving.

Tone-Loc, a rapper and actor was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) last December in Los Angeles but according to him, his arrest was a mistake.

It was reported that Tone Loc (Anthony Terrell Smith) was spotted driving erratically by the Los Angeles Police Department officers at around 3:00 in the morning. He was subsequently pulled over by the police and taken into custody and booked for DUI.

Although Tone-Loc was released 12 hours later after posting a $5,000 bail, he claims that he wasn’t driving erratically because he was drunk but that he was actually having a seizure right before the arrest.

His manager came to his defense and said that Tone-Loc hasn’t been drinking for many years as he has a history of seizures. Although the rapper was released after posting bail, the manager said that the cops realized his medical situation so they released him.

The rapper later that day checked into a hospital and claimed that the seizure may have been caused by the bad food he ate earlier.

Yearly, thousands die on the road because of impaired driving. Statistics show that in 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes. Although medical-related accidents have no concrete statistics, it is just as potentially fatal as DUI crashes.

Whether its avoiding alcoholic beverages or drugs or taking proper medication right before driving, all drivers have legal obligation to drive diligently and safely to avoid causing injuries to other motorists on the road.

The driver shall be considered negligent if he or she was drunk or drugged at the time of the accident or if he had a medical condition and failed to take proper precautions or even drove even if it wasn’t safe.

Under the law, victims of impaired driving accidents may file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party and seek damages. A negligent or impaired driver shall be required to pay compensation to the injured party for his injuries or expenses related to the accident through economic and non-economic damages.