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It is illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol in California. Specifically, it is illegal for anyone over 21 to drive a car with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. The BAC limit for those under 21 is .01% in California. However, did you know that some prescription drugs might lead to a DUI charge? If you receive a DUI charge from prescription medication, reach out to Attorney Dod of Dod Law. He can investigate the charge and explain your situation to state prosecutors.
Five Prescription Drugs that May Lead to a DUI Charge in California
Driving under the influence (DUI) charges result from any drug or alcohol that impairs your ability to operate a vehicle safely. In particular, five prescription drugs might lead to a DUI. They are Adderall, Xanax, Ambien, Vicodin, and Clarinex. While none of these drugs contain alcohol, they may have side effects similar to those of a drunk driver.
Adderall and similar ADHD medications, such as Ritalin and Focalin, stimulate the central nervous system. However, users may begin to feel tired as that stimulation wears off. It’s a proven fact that fatigued drivers often display similar symptoms to drunk drivers, including swerving between lanes and having a delayed reaction time. Avoid driving until the drug wears off, which typically takes six hours.
Anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium depress the central nervous system, making users feel calm and relaxed. Taking these medications before driving may make drivers too calm behind the wheel, and drivers may overlook dangers and react timely.
Ambien is a sleeping pill that induces drowsiness. Sleeping drugs work by slowing down the brain’s function and nervous system activity to treat insomnia and similar conditions. However, these drugs can have after-effects on users once they wake up, causing them to feel tired and lethargic. If you use sleeping pills, you must know that an Ambien DUI may happen immediately after taking the pill or the following day.
Strong painkillers like Vicodin use hydrocodone to block pain signals and receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Powerful painkiller drugs may lead to a DUI because they leave users with various symptoms, such as dizziness, drowsiness, or lightheadedness. These symptoms may impair a person’s ability to drive, leading a police officer to pull them over.
Clarinex, Allegra, Benadryl, and other strong allergy medications use an antihistamine to counteract the chemical histamine that triggers allergic reactions. Antihistamines come with some side effects, the most prevalent being drowsiness. Those who take allergy medications before getting behind the wheel might be too tired to stay alert, impairing their driving ability.
Speak to a California DUI Defense Attorney Today
If you received a DUI charge in California because of prescription medication, contact Dod Law. Attorney Dod is a skilled DUI defense attorney with 17 years of legal experience. Having worked on more than 6,500 criminal cases in and out of the courtroom in San Diego, including more than 75 jury trials and 400 preliminary hearings. His results speak for themselves. You can be confident that Attorney Dod has the experience needed to handle your case. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney in California, call (619) 814-5110 or complete our online contact form.