DUI Involving Sleep Medication
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Driving under the influence, which is also popularly known as driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI) or driving while impaired, is most commonly the result of intoxication from drinking alcohol. For this reason, states have set a level of blood alcohol concentration at which intoxication is presumed, says Broward DUI attorney William Moore. Following guidelines issued by the federal government in order to obtain highway funding, every state ultimately complied with the federal mandate that the states lower the level at which a driver is presumed impaired to 0.08 percent. However, intoxicating substances other than alcohol are often at play when a driver is suspected of impairment. Sometimes these are illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin, meth, and even marijuana. Other times they are prescription or even over-the-counter medications. Because the effects of drugs, including alcohol, are amplified when combined with one another, it is important to be careful claims Broward County Drunk Driving Attorney William Moore.Our Broward County Drunk Driving Attorneys Commonly Defend DUI Cases Involving Prescription Medication Such as Sleep Aids
For example, a driver might take a Benadryl to cope with her severe allergies, explains Broward County Drunk Driving Attorney William Moore. She might know that the medication makes her somewhat drowsy, but not too bad, and not so much that she feels like she could not drive safely (although Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore does not suggest that anyone drive if they are too sleepy or too impaired to do so). If the same woman has two glasses of wine over dinner with her boyfriend before heading home, she may also think she is okay at that point. However, the combination of the wine and the allergy medication’s side effects may render her too impaired to drive.
Likewise, sleep aids may cause side effects that result in an arrest for DUI, says Broward drunk driving lawyer William Moore Criminal Defense. The effects of the prescription sleep aid Ambien have been well-documented and are especially alarming because subjects have been known to sleepwalk out of their beds and into their vehicles. One study found that five percent of those drivers who were urine-tested for Ambien in Fort Lauderdale-Dade came up positive, suggesting that the issue is quite common. Xanax, the anti-anxiety medication, is also known to cause impairment, especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs claims the Broward County Drunk Driving Attorneys William Moore Criminal Defense.
Many people who try to behave responsibly have unfortunately gotten caught up in bad situations in which they were arrested for drunk driving. Any time you take a medication, be careful about possible side effects, especially when taking more than one at the same time. DUIs are not caused exclusively by alcohol and recreational drugs; medications such as cold and allergy drugs, pain medications, and sleep aids may also be involved.