Consuming drugs or alcohol can interfere with a person’s ability to judge his or her surroundings. Therefore, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Washington and most other states after drinking a beer or using substances like marijuana or cocaine. It may also be a good idea to avoid driving after taking prescription medication because it can make a person extremely tired or dizzy.

Those who use both drugs and alcohol at the same time may experience an enhanced impact on their minds and bodies. It is important to note that individuals are unable to accurately judge their own level of impairment. Therefore, individuals who plan on drinking or using other controlled substances should bring a designated driver with them to a bar or social gathering. At a minimum, a person should have someone whom he or she can call for a ride when that individual is ready to leave an event.

Anyone who notices that a friend or family member is too impaired to drive should give him or her a ride or make sure that someone else does. Regardless of a person’s level of impairment, it’s important to wear a safety belt while driving or riding in a vehicle. Doing so may significantly reduce the severity of an accident victim’s injuries.

Those who were hurt in auto accidents that were caused by impaired drivers may be entitled to various forms of compensation. This may make it easier to pay current and future medical bills or allow a person to refurbish a home so that it is more comfortable for an injured victim. Police reports and witness and driver statements may all be used as evidence that the person who caused an accident was impaired when it happened.