Becoming Intoxicated on the Road

Becoming Intoxicated on the Road

Many people naturally associate intoxicated driving with alcohol abuse. However, as more Americans turn to pharmaceuticals to treat various medical conditions, they may not realize that they are violating the law when they get behind the wheel. This is because, according to the law, intoxication is not strictly defined by the use of a particular set of chemicals. Instead, intoxication works with a much more expansive definition, meaning that drivers may be held both criminally and civilly responsible for their substance use.

If you have been involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver, you may have grounds for legal action. To discuss your case options with the Charleston personal injury lawyers of the Steinberg Law Firm, contact us today by calling 843-720-2800.


Intoxication is largely defined by the end result and the not the substance itself. This means that drivers who regularly use certain pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications may be considered intoxicated by legal standards. In fact, the any of the following may be considered intoxicants under the law:

  • Alcohol
  • Prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Illegal drugs
  • Other mind- or body-altering chemicals

Although this may seem to leave the definition too broad to be effective, the law is less concerned about the cause of intoxication and more about the effects. After all, even household products can be abused to achieve a high, altering a driver’s ability to drive safely. In the case of legal drugs, though, this means that drivers must be careful before getting behind the wheel.

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Drivers have a responsibility to know and understand whether they are fit to operate their vehicles or not. Failure to recognize the dangers of driving while intoxicated can have extremely serious consequences. If an accident with an intoxicated driver has caused you or someone you love to suffer harm, contact the Charleston personal injury lawyers of the Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800 for more information regarding your legal rights.

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