If drivers in Hawaii are in an accident with another driver who has been drinking alcohol, it is pretty obvious they can go after the driver for injuries and damage that was sustained. However, what if the other driver is found not to have any alcohol in their system? If the driver is, instead, found to be under the influence of drugs the injured party may still take legal action because drugs can have similar, or other damaging effects, as alcohol on driving ability.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, both illegal drugs and prescription medication can have adverse affects on driving. Drivers under the influence of meth or cocaine can be reckless or aggressive. Marijuana can decrease coordination, impair judgment and slow reaction time. Sedative use can result in drowsiness and dizziness. While each drug has a different effect, all of them can lead to accidents. When taken with alcohol, the effects can be devastating.
According to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, authorities in Hawaii can arrest someone for suspicion of DUI when they are operating under the influence of any controlled substance or its metabolites. Even though Hawaii allows marijuana use for medical purposes, driving under its influence is prohibited. This means that the penalties for driving drugged are the same as for driving drunk. This includes license suspension and/or use of an ignition interlock device, substance abuse rehabilitation program completion and possible fines and jail time. If the driver also seriously hurt or killed someone while driving, he or she may face additional legal charges.