With the prevalence of anti-drinking and driving campaigns funded by law
enforcement agencies and the federal government, it’s safe to say
that all drivers in the U.S. are aware that drinking and driving can lead
to a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction.
Most, but not all, drivers also know that it’s against the law to
drive while under the influence of marijuana and other illegal drugs,
such as methamphetamine, LSD, heroin, and cocaine. But still, the vast
majority of DUI prosecutions are alcohol-related.
A percentage of DUI cases
do not involve alcohol at all, but instead involve
marijuana, another illegal drug, or even a lawfully prescribed medication. Under
VC Section 23152(e), it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of
any drug, whether it’s medical marijuana from a dispensary or the Benadryl
you bought from Target or Walgreens.
VC Sec. 23152(e) is all encompassing, so this means that you can face
DUI drug charges, even if you are caught driving under the influence of a prescription
Even if you are on a prescription drug that was lawfully prescribed by
your doctor, socially acceptable, and medically necessary, if the drug
impaired your ability to drive safely, you can be prosecuted for DUI.
The same goes for medical marijuana – the DUI rules apply to all
drugs, legal and illegal.
Clues that a Drug Can Impair Driving
Are you on a drug that warns against operating heavy machinery? If so,
take that as a sign that you should designate a driver.
While the effects of drugs differ depending on how the specific drug acts
affects the brain, many drugs, specifically sedatives (benzodiazepines)
cause drowsiness and dizziness, which lead to traffic collisions. The
following drugs are recognized for impairing one’s ability to drive safely:
Prescription opioids, a class of powerful pain relievers, such as
Prescription sedatives, tranquilizers and depressants (slow brain activity),
such as Nembutal, Luminal,
Xanax, Valium, Lunesta, Sonata, and
We only mentioned a small number of prescription drugs that impair driving
because there are too many prescription drugs that impair driving ability
to list. If you are taking a drug that makes you experience drowsiness,
dizziness, blurred vision, or confusion, you should NOT drive while the
medication is in your system.
To learn more about how various drugs affect the brain, read these
drug facts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Arrested for DUI drugs in Orange County?
If you are facing DUI drug charges in Orange County, you need an aggressive
defense. We urge you to
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to speak with our
Board Certified DUI defense specialist, who is also a proud member of the
National College for DUI Defense!