On Sunday, December 6, 2015, a 51-year-old St. Petersburg man and his passenger were hospitalized in critical condition following a serious accident  along Belcher Road at 90th Avenue North. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Ronald Mullen, 65, of Bay Pines, was heading north on Belcher around 6:14 p.m. in the left turn lane. As he approached the intersection of 90th Avenue North, police indicate that a motorcycle driven by the St. Petersburg man was heading south on Belcher. Based upon police reports, Mullen tried to make a left turn and entered the path of the oncoming motorcycle when the two vehicles collided. The motorcycle driver and his passenger, a female, were both hospitalized in critical condition. The driver of the automobile, Mullen, was not injured in the accident and was arrested on two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury and possession of cannabis charges. He was also cited for a right of way violation.
Alcohol and Drug Related Accidents
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released new studies  in February, 2015 regarding impaired driving in the United States. NHTSA provides that the nation’s decades-long campaign to combat drunk driving continues to make our roads safer, but the use of marijuana and prescription drugs is increasingly prominent on the highways, creating new safety questions. One study, the latest version of NHTSA’s Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, found that the number of drivers with alcohol in their system has declined by nearly one-third since 2007 and by more than three-quarters since the first Roadside Survey in 1973. But that same survey found a large increase in the number of drivers using marijuana or other illegal drugs. In the 2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety. The report specifically provides:
“America made drunk driving a national issue and while there is no victory as long as a single American dies in an alcohol-related crash, a one-third reduction in alcohol use over just seven years shows how a focused effort and cooperation among the federal government, states and communities, law enforcement, safety advocates and industry can make an enormous difference,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “At the same time, the latest Roadside Survey raises significant questions about drug use and highway safety. The rising prevalence of marijuana and other drugs is a challenge to everyone who is dedicated to saving lives and reducing crashes.”
With regard to drug use by impaired drivers, the NHTSA also stated:
“But even as drinking and driving continues to fall, use of illegal drugs or medicines that can affect road safety is climbing. The number of weekend nighttime drivers with evidence of drugs in their system climbed from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014. The number of drivers with marijuana in their system grew by nearly 50 percent. A second survey, the largest of its kind ever conducted, assessed whether marijuana use by drivers is associated with greater risk of crashes. The survey found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that the increased risk may be due in part because marijuana users are more likely to be in groups at higher risk of crashes. In particular, marijuana users are more likely to be young men, a group already at high risk.”
St. Petersburg Automobile Accident Lawyers
Drivers should never get behind the wheel impaired, and we know that both alcohol and marijuana impair judgment, reaction times, and awareness. If you or someone in your life is consuming alcohol or even drugs, it is important not to drive a vehicle until the driver is sober. If you are involved in an automobile or motorcycle accident that involves an impaired driver, it is imperative to speak to a St. Petersburg Automobile Accident Attorney as soon as possible. Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm and learn more about seeking monetary compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712