On Tuesday, March 27th, a 20-year-old man from Zachary was arrested after hitting 12 different vehicles and leading police on a chase.
Details About the Incident
On Tuesday afternoon, troopers clocked the vehicle traveling eastbound at 93 mph in a 65 mph zone in East Baton Rouge Parish. The 20-year-old was reportedly “changing lanes, driving on the shoulder and attempted to run [other] vehicles off the roadway.”
The driver exited on La. 30 in Ascension Parish before getting back on the interstate and traveling west back along I-10. The negligent party would go on to hit 12 vehicles before finally coming to a halt on the Acadian Thruway exit.
According to Louisiana State Police, the Zachary man had red, glossy eyes as well as slurred speech and apparently did not remember the chase nor crashing into multiple vehicles. Law enforcement agents also found a melted straw and a water bottle which they believe was drug paraphernalia.
The individual was booked on 12 counts of aggravated criminal damage to property, 12 counts of hit-and-run, one count of a second-offense DWI, reckless operations, resisting an officer, aggravated flight, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, and no insurance.
Facts About Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Just like drunk driving, drivers under the influence of drugs have a slower reaction time, impaired judgment, decreased coordination, and altered attention. Depending on the type of drug taken, the driver may become more aggressive and reckless.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
- 11.8 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs in 2016.
- Men are more likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol than women.
- A higher percentage of young adults aged 18 to 25 drive after taking drugs than those 26 or older.
As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- 20% of nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for drugs in a 2013-2014 national roadside survey.
- In 2010, more than one-quarter of drugged drivers in deadly crashes were aged 50 years or older.
- In 2014, 10 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs within the year.
In terms of drunk driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- 3,046 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Louisiana.
- About one in every three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver.
- 2.5% of drivers in Louisiana self-reported driving after drinking too much; the national average is 1.9%.
Lastly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked Louisiana the number 9th state in 2018 for fatal crashes caused by a drunk driver.
Protecting Yourself and Loved Ones
While individuals driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol have been a recurring problem for years, there are ways we can raise awareness to potentially help prevent the loss of life. To begin, urge family and friends to avoid driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you or a loved one are attending an event where you will be drinking, use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft to transport you safely back home.
In the event that you, unfortunately, are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, it is crucial that you take certain steps to protect yourself, including:
- The first thing you need to do is contact the police as well as medical personnel. Even if you weren’t severely injured, it is advised to seek medical attention.
- Take pictures of the accident including the damages you and your property suffered.
- Request contact information for any witnesses.
- Do NOT attempt to stop or interact with the individual under the influence as they may become violent
- The police will help to secure the individual and will create a report of the incident.
- Once the police have filed your report, make sure you get a copy of it. The crash report will benefit you if you need to pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
- Make sure to keep all medical documents and receipts.
If you or a loved one have suffered damages as the result of a car accident, the New Orleans car accident attorneys at Cardone Law Firm can help you find the light at the end of the tunnel. We will work diligently to help you secure justice and full compensation to recover from all the damages you have suffered.
Source: The Advocate