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Doctor prescribed medications can result in DUI

On behalf of of Peach & Weathers - A Law Corporation posted in blog on Monday, November 6, 2017.

California laws against driving under the influence intend to prevent serious cause of motor vehicle accidents. When one thinks of DUI, thoughts of alcohol or illegal street drugs often come to mind.

However, DUI charges often pertain to legal prescription medications.

Prescription medication influences driving abilities

Driving under the influence of drugs can be applicable in California even if a driver is legally prescribed medications and taking them in the proper dosage. In a 2015 Riverside car accident, authorities arrested a 50-year-old dentist for DUI after law enforcement arrived at the scene of the collision with a tree. It was about 10:30 in the morning and there had been rain.

The driver’s BMW sustained substantial damage after crashing into and through the road divider at Orozco Drive and Overlook Parkway and into the tree. The officer observed behaviors that indicated that the driver was possibly under the influence and cited her with the misdemeanor. The DUI charge was not due to a suspicion of alcohol being in her system, nor did it suspect marijuana or another illegal drug. Rather, authorities believed that the dentist was under the influence of prescription medication.

Anti-anxiety and insomnia medications may cause accidents

As recently reported in PsychCentral, lawfully prescribed and ingested medication can be a cause of many motor vehicle accidents. In fact, prescription medications of senior citizens may contribute to their higher rates of car crashes.

In one study, car accidents increase nearly a 50 percent for seniors who use benzodiazepines designed to remain in the bloodstream long-term, such as 24 hours or more. These drugs, often used for anxiety and insomnia, include such well-known prescriptions as Dalmane, Valium, Klonapin and others.

However, short-term acting drugs can also be a danger, as they are strongest in the first few hours of ingestion. These include well-known medications such as Xanax, Halcion and Ativan.

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