Officials determined a woman who drove a minivan full of children the wrong way down a New York highway, killing herself and seven others, was drunk at the time of the car accident.

The driver had been under the influence of drugs as she was seen smoking marijuana less than an hour before crashing into another vehicle, and a 1.75-liter bottle of vodka was found at the scene.

Marijuana, which contains an addictive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), affects areas of the brain that control reaction time, body movement, balance, coordination, memory, judgment and sensation.  These are all necessary attributes for safe driving.  We — highly qualified San Diego car accident attorneys — know that drunk-driving and driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs are two of the top causes of car accidents as both slow down your reaction time and impair your senses.  Factoring in her wrong-way driving and you’re looking a major car accident.

The woman drove her red Ford minivan southbound in the northbound lanes of the Taconic State Parkway at about 1:30 p.m. on July 26 before she caused a head-on car accident with a Chevrolet SUV killing herself, her daughter and her three nieces.

Tests revealed her blood alcohol level was 0.19 percent.

“With that level of alcohol, it’s approximately 10 drinks in her system,” said the Westchester County director of forensic toxicology.

This tragedy could have been avoided if only this woman had not drank then driven or had even called a friend to pick her and her family up.  But now instead her family and the family of the other innocent driver and passengers are mourning the loss of their loved ones and undoubtedly going through an immense amount of pain and suffering.

Our firm’s San Diego car accident lawyers have seen time and time again car accidents caused by the negligence of someone else who decided to drink and then drive.  If anyone can get anything from this tragic news story hopefully it is that drunk-driving leads to the loss of innocent lives.  Please check out DUI prevention resource if you’d like to help out.

Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a FREE CONSULTATION with an experienced car accident attorney to find out how we may help you.  We look forward to providing good advice to help you make smart decisions about your case in either English or Spanish.