Many of us, for one reason or another, end up taking prescription medications at some point in time. Unfortunately, fewer drivers consider how prescription medications affects their ability to safely drive. New research shows that some medications, such as allergy medication, can affect cognition and response times as much as drinking alcohol affects driving. Understanding the harms and consequences of driving in Woodland Hills while on prescription medication is crucial to avoiding accidents and to keeping yourself and others safe.
Driving under the influence of prescription drugs
In California, a driver may be charged with the crime of driving under the influence by operating a vehicle while being under the influence of a drug. A “drug” is “any substance or combination of substances, other than alcohol, which could so affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his ability to drive a vehicle. . . ”
California’s Vehicle Code specifically states that anyone charged with a DUI who is or has been entitled to use the drug legally cannot use the prescription as a defense to DUI charges. The problem, of course, is that there is no way to measure drug impairment levels in the same way law enforcement can measure the 0.08% maximum for blood alcohol levels. It can be difficult to charge or even prosecute DUI charges but that does not mean if you are injured in an auto accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of prescription drugs that there is not hope. An experienced personal injury lawyer will work with you to ensure that you receive the financial compensation your injuries deserve.
Before you get in the car, consider the medications you are currently taking. Reactions to many medications may include sleepiness, blurred vision, dizziness, fainting, and nausea and these side effects may impair your ability to drive. Age may also affect a driver’s ability to drive while medicated: the older you are, the more likely to experience medication-related problems. Your doctor can help you minimize the impact of medications on driving. For instance, your doctor can help you change medication, adjust timing of doses, or adjust the dose.
At the end of the day, if you or a loved one were injured in Woodland Hills car accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, know that the law and attorney Barry P. Goldberg are on your side. Contact his experienced legal team today to discuss your case and potential financial recovery.