While the laws in California typically prohibit the use of alcohol and illegal substances like marijuana and cocaine, other drugs can get you arrested too.s
The determining factor with illegal or even perscription medication, is if the drug has created sufficient effect to create impairment in the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Frequently, clients are arrested for being under the influence of Vicodin, anti-anxiety or depression medication. This is true whether or not the person taking the drugs has a valid prescription, or has obtained these use popular street drugs unlawfully. The majority of these medications usually have warnings regarding the potential effects of these drugs on their bottles.
Even over-the-counter cold medications like NyQuil can cause impairment in coordination and other motor skills required for driving due to their high alcohol content. My clients, although rarely intentionally taking these medications to becomesinpaired, often find themselves arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Increased impairment iss
frequently made worse through the combination of alcohol and these over-the-counter or prescribed medications.
Recently,the courts are seeing a steadily increasing amount of prescription drug/alcohol inpaired driving under the influence cases as they are commonly called in the courts. These cases are often viewed more seriously than straight alcohol cases,especially if the drugs are illegal.
Extreme caution should be usedl when driving after taking any doctors prescribed medication,including over the counter drugs or other drug. Unfortunately, proper, lawful and otherwise appropriate use of these medications, even when following doctors orders can result in arrest if an officer feels that the drivers ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised.
People should be aware that eventhough the consequences of a regular alcohol related DUI are substantial, drug or drug/alcohol combinationsDUI’S are are often sentenced more harshly than other types of DUI cases. Everyone should be extra careful when taking any prescription medication or drug of the often unpredictable effects of these drugs on safe driving.