Many California motorists may be unaware that driving while taking their prescribed medication could land them with a DUI. Drugged driving impairment is considered equal to drunk driving where penalties are concerned. This reality may seem contrary to popular thought since so many potentially impairing medicines are available over the counter from the pharmacy or prescribed by doctors.
The actual cost of drugged driving
Motorists need to be aware of the troubling facts around drugged driving:
- According to the Office of Traffic Safety, 42% of the fatalities from motor vehicle crashes tested positive for drugs, whether these drugs were legal or illegal.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) reports that an impaired driving offense can be costly for motorists, with even first-time offenders subject to penalties of up to $10,000.
- The costs of a charge can include legal fees, insurance rate increases, days lost from work, potential job loss from the restrictions to a license and the denial of future work opportunities from a conviction record.
- Even with fewer cars on the road, DUIs are increasing.
Planning for the future
With California residents currently taking more medication than previous generations, there may be more risk of impaired drivers on the road. Drivers need to read the labels of prescription bottles and medication packages carefully for any mention of impairment while operating a vehicle. A charge can affect the rest of a person’s life. This outcome is why it is so important to address a charge directly to make the best plan for the future.