There seems to be a nationwide debate going on about how marijuana should be viewed in the eyes of the law. Some safety advocates claim that pot is still a gateway drug for young people and should remain illegal, while voters in some states like Washington and Colorado have decriminalized marijuana possession to some extent. Even the city of Chicago is deemphasizing the practice of arresting people solely for pot possession. But there’s one thing everyone can agree on: the practice of driving under the influence of marijuana should remain outlawed.
Unfortunately, even DUI laws pertaining to pot couldn’t stop a tragic auto accident from occurring earlier this month in Rockford. Around 2:15am on the morning of Saturday, March 2, an 18-year old man was driving his car along Kilburn Avenue about a mile northwest of the Rock River. When the vehicle was just north of Whitman Street, it struck a parked car. A passenger in that parked vehicle suffered critical injuries and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital. The teen who caused the auto accident was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana and was also cited for improper lane usage.
Because he was arrested on DUI charges, the 18-year old will almost certainly be held completely responsible for the auto accident and its consequences. So the injured passenger may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the teen. This type of lawsuit would allow the plaintiff to collect reimbursement for medical expenses, including treatment costs, hospital and ambulance charges, and even physical therapy sessions. If the passenger has to miss work, the defendant may also have to pay compensation for the wages that were not earned. Furthermore, a jury could award the plaintiff monetary damages for pain and suffering or mental anguish, as well as punitive damages since the defendant was charged with DUI.