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Drugged Driving: The Rx for a DUI

The litigation team at Lardiere McNair passionately fights for the rights of victims and their families who have been injured in an auto accident.

It comes as no surprise that drug addiction and overdoses are a leading cause of death in many states, including Ohio. An even greater problem arises when someone, who is under the influence of drugs, whether illicit or prescribed, attempts to operate an automobile.

Because automobiles are used on such a regular basis, crashes have become one of the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the United States.

Driving under the influence is typically associated with alcohol or illegal drugs. But with prescription drug use on the rise, this type of intoxicated driving is becoming more and more of an issue on roadways. A 2010 nationwide study of deadly crashes found that about 47 percent of drivers who tested positive for drugs had used a prescription drug, compared to 37 percent of those had used marijuana and about 10 percent of those who had used cocaine. The most common prescription drugs found were pain relievers.

Regardless of whether a person has a legitimate prescription for drug use or obtained them illegally, operating a vehicle under the influence of many prescription medications is illegal. This is because the drugs are intended to alter the body’s chemical makeup to solve a medical issue – oftentimes leading to side effects that make operating a vehicle dangerous.

If you’ve been prescribed medication and were instructed by the doctor or the labelling not to operate a vehicle for any reason, it is important not to drive. Even over-the-counter drugs can cause side effects that make driving dangerous. You can be held liable for damages and injuries to those in an accident you caused. Even an honest mistake can ruin your life and the lives of others. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

  1. Wilson FA, Stimpson JP, Pagán JA. Fatal crashes from drivers testing positive for drugs in the U.S., 1993-2010. Public Health Rep Wash DC 1974. 2014;129(4):342-350

Amanda Lantz is an Associate at Lardiere McNair, LLC.  To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.

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