Drugs And Alcohol Page 3
Drugs And Driving
- Much of what has been said about alcohol also applies to drugs (both
legally prescribed medicines and illegal drugs). California's DUI laws not only relate to the use of alcohol, they also
apply to being under the influence of drugs. Specifically, the DUI
law refers to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- The law does not have to
distinguish between alcohol or drugs. Many medicines can also
affect the way a person drives. The use of any drug that impairs your driving is illegal. Almost any drug can affect a
person's driving skill. This is true of prescription, over the
counter, and illegal drugs.
- If the law enforcement officer suspects
that you are under the influence of drugs, the officer can require that
you take a blood or urine test. Persons refusing these tests will
be subject to the same license suspensions and revocations as for
alcohol test refusal.
- Anyone possessing, selling, or manufacturing
illegal drugs will be subject to a 6 month suspension of their driving
- You can be found to be
driving while impaired when it is shown that your driving was adversely
affected by prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs. Do not mix
alcohol with your medications. This applies to both prescribed and
- It is ultimately
YOUR responsibility to know the effects of the medication you take. If you must take a medication before driving, find out the effects of
the medication from your physician or pharmacist first. Read the
labels on common medications you take and follow the warnings. Any
drug that "may cause drowsiness or dizziness" is one that you should not
take before driving. All medications, prescriptions and
over-the-counter drugs are potentially dangerous to take before driving.
- The fact that a drug is
nonprescription does not make its effects any less dangerous or illegal.
- Over-the-counter medications that can impair driving ability include
pain killers, sleeping aids, diet pills, tranquilizers, allergy
medications and cough suppressants. Using nonprescription
over-the-counter drugs while driving can result in your being arrested for DUI.
- Energy pills, or "uppers", and
diet pills, can make a driver more alert for a short period of time. However, later they can cause a person to become nervous, dizzy and not
able to concentrate. They can also negatively affect your vision.
- The fact that a doctor prescribed the drug does not make its effects any
less dangerous or illegal. Narcotics such as codeine, Demerol, and
other pain killers can cause drowsiness, a stupor like condition, a
false sense of well being, and poor coordination. All of these
effects are dangerous when you are behind the wheel.
- Stimulants such as speed, methamphetamine,
crack and cocaine can cause a false sense of well being, difficulty in
concentrating, aggressiveness, chronic paranoia and impatience. As
well as being illegal, these types of drugs can lead to erratic,
aggressive behavior. Illegal
stimulants can cause the same problems as prescription stimulants, but
with much greater intensity.
- Stimulants can give users a false sense of well-being and make them
think that they are super-alert. These drugs often cause drivers
to take foolish and life-threatening risks.
- Marijuana causes drowsiness, can distort your sense of time and space,
and impairs your ability to adapt to light and dark.
- If you
possess, or have for sale, transport or offer to transport, import into
California, sell, furnish, administer or give away marijuana, the court
will order a revocation of your driver license.
marijuana or introducing its use to a minor, hiring or employing a minor
for the purpose of transporting, carrying, selling, giving away,
preparing for sale or peddling marijuana will also result in revocation.
- The court will also order a one
year suspension of your driving privilege if you are under 21 years of
age, but 13 years of age or older, and are convicted of a drug related
- Marijuana affects people's awareness of how fast they are
driving, and their ability to judge time and space. It also tends
to affect an individual's concentration. The impaired driver
tends to concentrate on one thing at a time, ignoring all else around
them. A good driver must be able to observe his surroundings and
make sound decisions when driving a vehicle. This becomes
difficult, if not impossible, when under the influence of marijuana.
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