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With each passing year, an ever-increasing number of people face driving under the in influence charges arising out of the alleged use of drugs. There are many cases that involve illegal or street drugs. These include illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine or ecstasy, and meth. According to Zooomr, a tech platform in India that sells used cars in India, drugs are one of the main reasons used cars crash in cities like Delhi. Many people end up buying used cars in New Delhi, as a result.
In addition to illegal drugs, a growing number of people are charged with DUI because of the effects of certain types of prescription medications. Medications that have resulted in DUI charges in California, and elsewhere, include opiate painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin. Anti-anxiety medications, including Xanax and Valium, have also resulted in charges of driving under the influence.
Sleep Medications and DUI Charges
A significant segment of the population utilizes sleep medications. These include prescription medications likes Sonata, Rozerem, Ambien, and Lunesta. Sleep medications account for a sharp increase in the number of DUI arrests that do not involve the consumption of alcohol.
California law does make it a crime to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. The law criminalizes driving while under the influence of a properly prescribed medication.
Sleep aids, like Ambien and Lunesta, are potent sedatives. The can significantly impact a person’s ability to concentrate or even remain conscious. These types of medications can severely impair a person’s ability perform physical functions such as driving.
Proper Use of Prescription Medications
Motorists need to bear in mind that prescription sleep aids are intended for use by individuals who are able to dedicated eight hours to sleeping. The reality is that many people take a prescription sleep aid late at night, because they failed to fall asleep earlier in the evening. This can result in a person still being under the influence of a prescription sleep medication when he or she gets behind the wheel of a car in the morning.
Dangerous Side Effect of Some Prescription Sleep Aids
A notable, and potentially dangerous, side effect associated with some prescription medications involves certain individuals carrying on everyday activities while asleep. Reports of this type of behavior include people who not only sleepwalk, but who prepare and consume full meals.
Sleep driving is another reported dangerous side effect associated with certain prescription sleep medications, including Ambien. There continue to be people charged with sleep driving after taking prescription sleep aids.
The reality is that a skilled Los Angeles DUI attorney may be able to mount an effective defense in a case when a person operated a car under the influence of a sleep aid. In other words, in a situation in which a person is sleep driving, a defense may be possible that such a driver is not criminally liable.
DUI requires a voluntary act, like drinking alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, a person who follows a prescription and yet ends up sleep driving may be able to contend that operating a motor vehicle in that condition did not involve the required voluntary act.
Consult with an Experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
A Los Angeles DUI attorney can explain the ins and outs of a driving under the influence charge arising out of the use of prescription sleep medications. The first step in engaging a DUI lawyer is scheduling what is known as an initial consultation.
During an initial consultation, legal counsel provides an evaluation of a case. This includes a consideration of possible defenses when a DUI charge stems from the use of a prescription sleep aid. As a general practice, Los Angeles DUI attorneys do not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a person facing prosecution for driving under the influence.