Most people associate the term DWI, which stands for driving while intoxicated, with drinking and driving; however, the term is not exclusively limited to alcohol. Recently there has been a disturbing rise in DWIs and related accidents from a different kind of intoxication, prescription pills. The Texas Penal Code defines intoxication as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug….or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.” Prescription pills fall into this definition since they are mainly classified as a controlled substance.
The danger has been highlighted by recent studies which showed that twice as many intoxicated accident victims said they were under the influence of prescription pills rather than alcohol. Furthermore, in the past two years there has been close to a 20% increase in DWI blood tests showing the presence of prescription drugs. Drivers under the influence of prescription pills may pose an even greater threat than those who are drunk. This is largely because most drunk driving happens late at night; but people drive while on prescription pills at all times of the day, meaning they are more likely to be on the road during high traffic periods.
The best way to avoid becoming one of these drivers is to read the warning labels on medications, since many say not to drive while taking them. These warnings are all too often over looked. Also, it is important to be aware of the effects prescription medications have on you before you attempt to drive, because the effects may be stronger than expected or have a delayed onset.
As always Ben Bronston and Associates is here to help the victims of intoxicated drivers get the legal restitution they deserve. If you or a family member has been injured by an intoxicated driver, regardless of the cause of intoxication, call us for a free consultation about your case.