DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze

A DUI arrest can result from more than just alcohol. Operating a vehicle with illicit drugs or medications in your system also can lead to a DUI charge. Mixing alcohol, marijuana, or medications is dangerous. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, 2014 statistics show that “38% of drivers who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in California tested positive for legal and/or illegal drugs.”

With Americans taking more prescription and over the counter medicines now than ever before, law enforcement is seeing a greater number of impaired drivers out on the road. Medicines that impair driving include: sleeping aids, pain killers, anti-depressants, stimulants, muscle relaxants, allergy medications, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and more. These medicines can have lingering effects on the body for up to 24 hours after ingestion.

Marijuana affects the body by slowing reaction times and the ability to make decisions. Safe driving requires drivers to be fully alert and aware of movement and obstacles on the road at all times. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient in marijuana. THC affects areas of the brain that control body movements, balance, coordination, judgment, and memory. The “higher” someone is the more likely he or she is to take risks.

If you see any erratic driving that you think could be a drunk driver, please call 911. Your phone call could save lives by getting an impaired and reckless driver off the road.  DUIs are costly, and putting your safety and the safety of others at risk could prove to be even costlier. Fully sober up before you drive to avoid getting a free ride to jail.