Kansas Drivers: How to Avoid Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Charge

The majority of drivers arrested for DUI in the United States stem from the consumption of alcohol. However, this does not mean that drivers are not arrested for DUI due to drug usage. All states have laws that prohibit motorists from driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

In Kansas, the law specifically states that a person can be found guilty of a DUI if he or she is under the influence of “any drug or combination of drugs” or a “combination of drugs and alcohol” that renders the person incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. It is important to be aware that the statute states “any drug” which means that the statute does not limit the word “drug” to the use of illegal drugs or the illegal use of legal drugs. Therefore, it is important for every driver to understand the law regarding DUI and drugs, not just those individuals who engage in illegal drug use. The good news is that by following the below recommendations you can greatly reduce your risk of being charged with a DUI for drug use:

  • Read all drug labels carefully: Every drug comes not only with dosing instructions, but also with a list of side effects and warnings. Take the time to read all of the information printed on the bottle or that came with the medication. Taking more than the prescribed dose or failing to heed warnings like “do not operate a vehicle while taking this medication” can have life-altering side effects.
  • Be wary of new medications: When taking any new medication, make sure you refrain from driving until you understand how the drug affects you. Especially if the drug label indicates side effects that could interfere with your ability to operate a vehicle safely.
  • Do not become a “mixologist”: If you have or are already taking one prescription medication do not “mix” that medication with any other drug, or prescription or over-the-counter medication, unless you are assured by a doctor of pharmacist that the combination is safe. Mixing prescription drugs with alcohol or even just another drug may cause you to experience side effects that you did not experience when taking the two drugs alone.
  • Consult a pharmacist or your doctor if in doubt: Before increasing your dosage or combining your medication with another drug, make sure you talk with a doctor or pharmacist. Also if you are experiencing unwanted side effects, your doctor may also be able to change either the medication or its dose. Do not drive until your doctor has corrected the problem.
  • Do not rely on “legal usage” as a defense: If you do not follow the above list of best practices and take even a doctor prescribed medication properly and are later arrested and charged with drugged driving, you cannot the fact that you were simply following the doctor’s orders as a defense to the charges.
  • WARNING to “habitual users”: Lastly, if you are a habitual user of any narcotic, hypnotic, somnifacient or stimulating drug, please be aware that Kansas law specifically prohibits you from operating a vehicle at any time.

If you have been arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs, the first thing you need to do is speak with an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney. Only a seasoned Kansas DUI Defense attorney will be able to properly evaluate your case and make sure that your rights are protected. For more than thirty five years attorney Charles E. Whitman has provided aggressive representation for individuals charged with DUI throughout Lawrence and Northeast Kansas. Contact The Whitman Law Offices at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. At The Whitman Law Offices we will make sure that you receive aggressive representation. But do not delay, call today!

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