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Drugs and Alcohol Cause Fatal Crash

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A Waukesha man was recently killed in a car crash with a twenty-one-year-old driver who is accused of having a mixture of drugs and alcohol in his system. Witnesses say that the man veered in and out of the oncoming lane several times before colliding head-on with the other vehicle at South Racine Avenue and Swartz Drive in New Berlin. The victim sadly succumbed to his multiple blunt-force injuries ten days after the crash.

The defendant was charged with homicide “by intoxicated use of a vehicle” and “negligent operation of a vehicle,” a class G felony, by the Waukesha County Circuit Court. He says he does not remember what happened immediately before the crash, and that he was not drinking the day of—only the night before—which might be true. Officers said they smelled alcohol, but the driver’s injuries prevented him from being tested on the scene. He was found to have medication in his possession: Adderall and possibly another amphetamine, and he was also prescribed Trazodone.

Drugs and Alcohol a Dangerous Mix on the Road

The effects of drunk driving are well known, but drugged driving—even with prescription medication—is a scourge as well. Combine alcohol with drugs and the results can be tragic. Different substances can enhance or block one other’s effects.

For example, Adderall is an accepted stimulant for ADD and ADHD, but it can mask the effects of alcohol. People don’t realize they have had too much because it dulls some of the warning signs of overindulgence, such as drowsiness. Some people actually purposefully combine the two because it makes them feel like they can party all night.

The sleep aid the driver was prescribed in this case, Trazodone, is a decades-old drug whose chief purpose is to cause drowsiness. It can impair thinking and reactions and can enhance the effects of alcohol.

On a side note, as far as drinking the night before is concerned, some people believe that they can sleep the effects of alcohol off. But these can take hours to clear, depending on how much was consumed and how fast. The truth is that alcohol remains in the blood and body tissues until it is metabolized. Drinking until 3:00 a.m. and waking at 6:00 a.m., for instance, would not provide much time for processing. The act of going to sleep does not expedite the process.

Criminal Charges Can Affect a Civil Case

The defendant in the above story is only twenty-one years old and may not have known the combined effects of whatever he consumed. He might also be found innocent of the charges. This case, however, can be used as an example of a potential wrongful death lawsuit.

While the above felony charges would call for a criminal trial instigated by the legal system, a wrongful death case is a civil one filed by members of the deceased’s family. This type of suit seeks to ensure that the relatives left behind can receive compensation to meet financial challenges when a loved one passes away. Often the breadwinner is taken from the family and they have to scramble to make up for medical and funeral costs and fear for how they will meet financial challenges in the future. Damages that can be sought by immediate family members include compensation for lost wages, loss of companionship, and more.

Milwaukee Wrongful Death and Car Wreck Lawyers

Traffic and personal injury cases can affect victims financially, emotionally, and physically for years. No one should take the brunt of someone else’s reckless behavior by accepting an inadequate settlement. The Law Offices of Gary Greenberg have been fighting for Milwaukee residents’ rights for decades.

We help clients through every step of the legal process and go the extra mile by helping them deal with the related challenges that these unforeseen events bring. If you’d like to discuss your case, please contact us to arrange a free consultation by calling 414-271-7007 or by completing the form on this page.