Read the Label: Legal Drugs Can Result in DUIs

When we hear that someone is caught for a DUI, we usually assume that the person was driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or a combination of both.

How Do I Know If I'm an Impaired Driver?

At its most basic form, however, a DUI simply means driving while impaired by any substance – which can even include legal drugs you’d find in your bathroom’s medicine cabinet.

Some prescriptions and over the counter medicines are powerful enough to impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle – and many even say so right on the label. Many of these legal drugs cause you to feel drowsy and can impair your ability to react quickly or stay in your lane. Common legal drugs that can impair one’s driving ability include stimulants, sedatives, antidepressants, and narcotic analgesics.

The biggest issue facing legal drug DUIs is the lack of any method of assessing impairment.

When someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, his or her blood-alcohol level can be measured in numerical form. When it comes to legal drugs, and even illegal ones, there is no method in place for accurately assessing the level of driver impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report which stated that approximately 16 percent of nighttime drivers have at least one potentially impairing drug in their system.

The NHTSA is currently involved in a study with a panel of experts to develop methods for assessing impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs – both legal and illegal. Until then, police have the ability to give DUIs and even make arrests on suspicion of a driver being impaired by a drug – whether the person has taken cocaine or a prescribed medicine.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help After a Car Crash

Sometimes, even the safest drivers can find themselves involved in an accident due to the behavior of an aggressive driver. In those situations, the aggressive driver can be held responsible and made to pay for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

In Alaska, accident victims can rely on attorney Ben Crittenden to help. As a personal injury lawyer, Ben has worked hard to make sure his clients’ voices are heard and they are able to obtain the maximum amount of compensation. Every accident victim deserves the chance to recover as fully as possible, and Ben is here to help you meet that goal. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident because of an aggressive driver, take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page, or request a free copy of Ben’s bookA Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about your rights.

Ben Crittenden
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Passionately devoted to advancing his trial techniques and communication skills on behalf of injured victims.
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