“Driving under the influence” usually refers to getting behind the wheel while intoxicated with alcohol. While this, of course, is unfortunately common, there are other ways an individual can drive under the influence. Drugs – even over-the-counter or legally prescribed medication – can also cause a motorist to drive under the influence. Regardless of the actual cause, a DUI is still, unfortunately, a DUI.
In one recent San Diego case, a woman who allegedly drove under the influence of depressants is facing charges after pleading guilty to a San Diego DUI car accident that tragically killed an elderly man. According to Fox 5 San Diego, the woman in question ran a red light near La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue after having been suspected of being under the influence of Valium and reportedly three other prescription medications.
Driving under the influence of drugs is called “drugged driving” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The woman will now face up to seven years in prison when she is sentenced in April 2015.
Authorities say the accident occurred at 10:30 a.m. in October 2013 when the driver in question was said to have accelerated through a red light while going approximately 68 miles per hour.
The woman is said to have been taking medications as a result of medical problems that arose out of her military service but police say that she should not have been driving under those conditions.
PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS AND DRIVING: DRUGGED DRIVING
The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns all drivers to avoid operating a vehicle when taking any form of mind-altering drugs (also referred to as “psychoactive” drugs). Astonishingly, it is possible that many people are unaware that drugged driving is not only unsafe but also illegal in light of statistics that say 9.9 million people ages 12 and older reported having driven under the influence of drugs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reported that more than 16 percent of weekend drivers were driving under the influence of illegal, prescription or over-the-counter medication.
These are startling statistics. Whether you simply didn’t know or if you think you’d be fine the wheel, we ask all San Diegans to stop driving when taking any form of drugs. You may think it is less serious than drinking and driving; don’t be fooled. Any mind-altering substance behind the wheel can indeed be deadly.
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS CAN CAUSE FOGGINESS, DROWSINESS AND CAR ACCIDENTS
All San Diegans are urged to avoid getting behind the wheel while under the influence of any kind of drug – yes, even over-the-counter medication such as potent cold remedies that can cause drowsiness.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
If you’re concerned about the medications you are taking and their reliability behind the wheel, please contact your doctor to learn more about the side effects for your specific medications, especially when medications are combined.
USE GOOD JUDGEMENT
If you question the medication you’re using, it’s probably safe to say you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. Powerful pain killers and muscle relaxers are prescription culprits of car accident causes in addition to antibiotics or cold medicines that can cause extreme drowsiness. It’s better to recuperate in the safety of your own home and get a ride to where you want to go; always err on the side of caution.
WHEN SAN DIEGO CAR ACCIDENTS OCCUR
Our personal injury lawyers are experts at car accident law. Individuals injured in a San Diego drug- or alcohol-related car accident often look for expert legal advice concerning lost wages, medical bills and even pain and suffering. Call us today for a FREE consultation. There are NO FEES to speak to us OR to retain us as your car accident attorneys. Call us now, 24/7: 1-858-551-2090.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines