Legal Question in DUI Law in California

I have ME/CFS and my doctors have me on pain mgt regiment of 15mg morphineCR every 8 hrs, 24hrs day, 7 days a week and I'm concerned about the possibilty of getting a DUI when driving here in CA. I've been on different pain medications for this disease since 2006, such as vicodin, percocet, oxycontin, etc.. & have been taking the morphine for the last 15 mos. So how do I know if I'm at risk of DUI with this medication?? I've talked to my Pain Mgt Dr and she's not sure what the limits are or how they determine when you cross the line for DUI. I take the meds all day long, every 8 hrs, every day. The pills are controlled release so the meds are always in my system. I can't just stop driving all together that's just not possible and can't stop the meds or the pain becomes unbearable.

Can yall tell me how I know if I'm considered impaired when driving or at risk for DUI based on the above pain medicine regiment?? Thank You!!

Asked on 9/08/12, 9:05 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

The question is not an easy one. It's not the same as being under the influence of alcohol where you compare the number of drinks you have to your weight and you can get a pretty good idea of whether you are under the influence or not. The first question here is whether you violate the law when you are driving. For example do you weave, have an accident. or go off the side of the road. The second question is whether you can pass field sobriety tests. They are very subjective and give the officer a lot of leeway. If you violate the laws of the road or if you have slurred speech you are much more likely to be given road sobriety tests. Certainly if you are pulled over do not volunteer information about the drugs you are taking. That's a pretty sure way of getting arrested.

Be careful and good luck.

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Answered on 9/08/12, 9:24 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Driving impaired by ANY substance puts you in the category of DUI. It can be legal or illegal, prescription or OTC, liquor, beer, weed, narcotics, cough medicine, sinus medicine, etc, etc. Drive at your peril. If observed driving erratically or supiciously, you'll get stopped, and if the officer suspects drugs, you'll get arrested. .

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Answered on 9/08/12, 10:12 pm

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