Whenever anyone talks about drunk driving, it is only natural that the conversation centers on intoxication via alcohol or illegal drugs. For most DUI cases, these two factors will play a role in the driver’s intoxication. But there are other ways that drivers may be, shall we say, “not themselves.” DUIs can be triggered by other means.
One prominent way that someone can be intoxicated or inebriated behind the wheel of a vehicle is by taking prescribed medication. If the medication is abused, or if the medication has particular effects that limit a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle, then the driver could be held responsible for their negligence.
Sometimes, though, the situation can be even more convoluted. A new report examines one of these situations, taking a look at sleeping pills and how they affect drivers. Now, obviously, taking a sleeping pill and then getting behind the wheel of a car is a negligent and dangerous thing to do. But what if you took a sleeping pill last night, and you’re trying to drive today — well after the effects of the pill are supposed to have worn off?
That situation, according to the study, would still inhibit a driver’s ability. According to the study, drivers who used one of the three top sleeping pill brands the night before were 25 percent to three times as likely to be in an accident the next day. The sleeping pill was still affecting the driver, even though many hours had passed since ingestion and even though it was after the pills effects should have worn off.
Source: NBC News, “Sleeping Pill Use Raises Car Crash Risk, Study Finds,” Maggie Fox, June 11, 2015