Articles Posted in Prescription Medications

A driver must have committed a traffic violation or otherwise for an officer to pull the person over. In order for an officer to request the driver to submit to an alcohol screening test, they must have reasonable suspicion. For example, if a driver is following all traffic safety laws, the officer has no reason to pull the driver over. If the driver exhibits no signs of being under the influence of any substance, including alcohol, and does not admit to having been under the influence, the officer does not have authority to request a drug or alcohol screening test.

The driver may then be asked to submit to a blood test if the officers believe they may be under the influence of additional substances. However, they gain their initial authority to request an alcohol screening test because of the use of alcohol. Once the blood test results come back, and they demonstrate drug use, the driver may then have additional evidence against him, even though the driver was initially pulled over and test for alcohol alone.

Thissconcept is best described through an example. Dana has two beers at a friend’s place. She also takes more than the allotted dose of sleep medicine. She hasn’t been sleeping well lately and decides that if she takes the medication prior to leaving her friend’s place, by the time she gets home she will be ready to fall asleep. Dana speeds on the way to her house. She is pulled over by an officer for speeding (valid traffic violation). The officer smells the beer on her breath and asks her if she has been drinking. Dana responds yes, that she has had two beers (reasonable suspicion by admission). The officer then asks her to submit to a field sobriety test. Dana assumes that she has only had two beers so her BAC is low, and she will easily pass the tests and readily submits. She blows a .02.

\Many of our clients make the mistake of assuming that because they have not had a single alcoholic drink, but have only smoked marijuana, they are immune from being arrested for driving under the influence. This is absolutely not true.

California Vehicle code §23152 and 23153, specifically state that “It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”

This means that if you are under the influence of a drug alone and are found driving, you are still in violation of the relevant statue and officers may arrest you for a DUI.

Out of the 200,000 people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California every year, many are driving under the influence of drugs. California Vehicle Code section 23152 states that it is unlawful for an individual to drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence or drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.

This does not mean the drugs need to be marijuana, cocaine or some other form of illicit drug. Any type of drug that alters or otherwise impairs an individual’s thinking and reaction times will suffice, causing you to potentially be arrested for driving under the influence in California.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has just released a new set of guidelines for the extremely popular sleeping pill Ambien.sAmbien is distributed by Sanofi and sold in other forms as Edluar by Meda Pharmaceauticals and Zolpimist by NovaDel Pharma. The active ingredient for all of these sleep medications is zolpidem. However, many other sleep aid medications that do not contain zolpidem can also have the same side effects.

Due to new studies confirming that zolpidem stays in patient’s system longer than initially thought, the FDA is requesting that doctors reduce the recommended dosage from ten milligrams to five milligrams in women. If the drug is in the extended release form, the dosage should be reduced from 12.5 milligrams to 6.25 milligrams. Due to the fact that the drug is slow to metabolize.sThe FDA is also asking doctors to consider reducing the dosage for men, as well.

The studies have revealed that the estimated 40 million people who take sleeping pills are at risk of injuring themselves and others due to morning drowsiness. Many people taking Ambien showed significant zolpidem blood levels the day after taking the medication, which could impair thinking, reaction times, and the ability to drive or operate machinery.

Dr. Carol Ash at Meridian Health in New Jersey stated that driving to work for many patients the day after taking the medication is “essentially like driving drunk.” She also warned of the addictive nature of the insomnia drugs and urged the millions who take them to seek alternative solutions.

If you are stopped and the police officer feels that you are “impaired,” you can just as easily receive a DUI for taking Ambien or some other prescribed insomnia drug. It is no different than having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. The fines, penalties, driver’s license suspension and other attendant costs attached to a DUI charge will be the same even though you had not had a sip of alcohol to drink.

Continue reading ›

Contact Information