The term DUI is commonly used to describe the crime of drunk driving, but according to the state law, the term driving under the influence also includes driving under the influence of illegal substances. So, this means alcohol intoxication is just one of the reasons you can get arrested for DUI. Alcohol is not the only substance that can affect your abilities to operate a vehicle properly. Many other substances can impair your judgment, motor skills, and reflexes. If you have been caught driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications or illegal drugs, it is likely you’ll end up with a DUI charge.
So, to immediately respond to your question, if you mix alcohol and drugs, operate a vehicle while under the influence of medicinal marijuana or legally prescribed medications such as muscle relaxers, or any other substance that can impair your ability to drive, you’re making an offense that will result in DUI charges. It doesn’t matter if your doctor has prescribed you medication or if you’re simply following your doctor’s orders. Medical advice cannot be used as a defense for drugged driving charges.
The Dangers of Drugged Driving
Drugged drivers are equally dangerous for traffic participants as drunk drivers. Research has shown that drivers under the influence of medications are more likely to cause severe car accidents than those who drive intoxicated by alcohol. These accidents are also more likely to result in severe injuries, physical disabilities, and death. To make matters even more serious, many drivers are caught driving while intoxicated both with drugs and alcohol. Mixing drugs with alcohol is very dangerous because it will impair a person’s judgment and abilities very fast and in a greater amount. In many cases, the driver can also be charged for illegal drugs possession. As you can see, operating a vehicle and using drugs is a severe offense that also has many grave consequences.
Common Effects of Drug Use
Different drugs and medications can affect people in different ways, but the only important thing is, there isn’t a drug that won’t seriously affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Drugs cloud our judgment and reduce our reaction time. If we don’t react in time and hit the brakes when we are supposed to, we will hit a pedestrian, a motorcyclist or even cause a major car wreck. Illegal substances impair our eyesight, making us unaware of our surroundings. They also impair us physically, inevitably leading to injuries of both the driver and other motorists.
Besides the mentioned effects, drugs can cause hallucinations and irrational behavior, causing the driver to lose sight of the task of driving and making him/her overwhelmed with emotions such as anger, fear, rage, anxiety. When we combine drugs with operating an automobile, the effects of it become dangerous for everyone on the road. That’s why those who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol and cause injuries and death must be held accountable for their actions. If you have been caught driving while intoxicated, you should contact a DUI lawyer to help you avoid severe consequences of the charges and reduce the possible penalties.