The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Cops: Wrong-Way Driver Was on Powerful Sedative

Police believe the driver responsible for a wrong-way crash on Ga. 316 was under the influence of a powerful sedative at the time of the accident, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Beverly Wilkins, 37, of Dacula, headed in the wrong direction on the highway, causing an accident that left five people injured. Authorities believe Wilkins was on Propofol, a sedative commonly used for anesthesia.

Wilkins drove her SUV three miles in the wrong direction on Ga. 316 before crashing into a Honda Civic. Wilkins and five people in the Civic suffered serious injuries in the crash.

Police found an IV bag and a needle in the front seat of Wilkins' SUV. Authorities think Wilkins stole the Propofol from Gwinnett Medical Center where she works. She's believed to have injected herself with two vials of the sedative right before the accident occurred.

Wilkins was charged with causing serious injury by vehicle, driving on the wrong side of the road, reckless driving, and improper lane change, according to authorities. A person who causes serious injury to another person while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be charged with serious injury by vehicle. If Wilkins is convicted, she could spend up to 15 years in jail for each charge.

Drugged driving is a mounting problem in Atlanta. There's no "Breathalyzer" test for drugs, making it difficult for law enforcement to catch drugged drivers. That's why Georgia has a "per se" drugged driving law. The law makes it illegal to drive with any detectable amount of drugs in your system. That means if you're found to have even a trace of a controlled substance in your system, you'll get the same DUI charge you'd get for drunken driving.

Police allegedly found 10 additional vials of Propofol in Beverly Wilkins' purse after she was taken to the hospital. The Gwinnett Medical Center is currently conducting an internal investigation.

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