If you are currently taking medication to treat anxiety, pain, insomnia,
allergies, depression, or another medical condition, is it safe to drive?
According to the
U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), “While most medications don’t affect driving ability, some
prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications can cause reactions that may make
it unsafe to drive.”
Whenever you are prescribed medications, it’s important to check
the label and check with your doctor or pharmacist if the drug can interfere
with driving. If the warning label on the medicine cautions against mixing
it with alcohol, or if it cautions against
operating machinery, then there is a definite possibility that the medication can impair your
What types of reactions can make it unsafe to drive?
- Blurred vision
- Attention and focus difficulties
- A slowed reaction time (e.g. sleeping pills, pain killers)
In most states, including California, driving under the influence of medication
is a legal issue. While state laws about drugged driving differ, in California
DUI of drugs is treated the same as an alcohol-related DUI. This means that if you
can face the same
penalties for a prescription drug DUI as one that is alcohol-related.
National Institute on Drug Abuse says that it’s difficult to determine exactly how drugs affect driving
because people are in the practice of mixing different substances; sometimes
they mix drugs with alcohol. “But we do know that even small amounts
of some drugs can have a measurable effect,” says the NIDA.
According to the NIDA’s 2014 statistics:
- Men are more inclined to drive under the influence of drugs than women.
- Adults between the ages of 18 and 25 tend to drive under the influence
of drugs or alcohol more than adults above the age of 25.
In addition to
marijuana, prescription drugs are frequently connected to drugged driving crashes
in the United States.
- The most common prescriptions linked to drugged driving crashes were pain
- 47 percent of the fatal crashes involved drivers who were on a prescription
drug, compared to 37 percent who had marijuana in their system.
If you are facing DUI of drugs charges in Orange County, we urge you to
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a free case evaluation. As DUI defense specialists, we are well-qualified
to provide you with aggressive representation!