A 19-year-old skateboarder was hit and killed by a 47-year-old man who was suspected to be high at the time of the accident. According to local news reports, the driver was proceeding down Unser Boulevard when the accident occurred. A witness called police, and recordings reveal the witness exclaiming that the teenager was bleeding and that his head was split open.
When police arrived at the scene of the accident, the driver admitted to being under the influence of several pharmaceutical drugs. When the officers attempted to test the man regarding his level of impairment, he was stumbling and unable to stand up straight. Currently, the man is facing charges ranging from leaving the scene of an accident to homicide by a vehicle.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in New Mexico
In New Mexico, it is against the law and a crime to drive if one is incapacitated by a drug. It does not matter whether the drug is illicit or legal. The law specifies that a person can be held culpable of driving while drugged if the influence of that drug makes the person incapable of operating their motor vehicle safely.
Unlike drinking and driving, New Mexico does not have a specific amount of drugs that needs to be found in a person’s system to make them liable. However, the analysis is viewed on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the state.
What Drugs Are Considered and What Are the Repercussions?
In New Mexico, any drug is considered a “drug” for the purposes of the statute. Although an individual may claim that they are legally prescribed the medication, that will not likely be a viable defense. Additionally, if one is convicted of a drugged driving offense, it will be considered in any future calculations of prior offenses for sentencing purposes.
Besides the criminal repercussions of a drugged or drunk driving offense, the person may be liable for civil charges as well. The victim of their family may pursue the wrongdoer for wrongful death, negligence, and potentially other claims. To prove a civil case, a New Mexico accident victim can often rely on the same evidence that the state used at the criminal trial.
Have You or A Loved One Been Injured In A Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, you may consider bringing a negligence suit against the culpable party. If criminal charges have been assessed against the person, it may be easier to prevail on a civil claim. However, the lack of a criminal conviction is not a bar to recovery under civil negligence. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. This compensation includes damages for your past medical bills, future medical expenses, and other items related to your injury, such as pain and suffering and lost wages. These cases can often be complex and require a significant amount of preparation and legal knowledge. It is highly recommended that you contact an attorney to assess your case and advise you of your rights and remedies. Contact the Fine Law firm today at 505-889-FINE to schedule a free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Hospital Attempts to Get Case Dismissed Because of Statute of Limitations, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 20, 2015.
Midland County Accident Takes Life of One Man During Sleet Storm, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 12, 2015.