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Got dui - but NOT for drugs/alcohol, I had adverse reaction to soma.....

Eureka, CA |

been taking 5 yrs - was driving 1 day, got dizzy - turned corner to pull over and yeah, officer pulled me over, PUT ME IN JAIL.

i am a 54 yr old handicapped woman

I am FACING 27 days in jail - I am on breathing machine, and have MULTIPLE needs during course of day - use walker, cane & wheelchair, etc. etc

THIS situation - STILL considered DUI & I am considered driving under drugs/alcohol, but there was NO abuse, OVER use, NOTHING!!!! BAD LUCK

What is my best defense? I am scared to death of #1 jail & #2 - how my medical needs will b attended 2 IF judge says jail

- trying to go for house arrest 1/mo

- Pub def. says I may need 2 go further & say I wont drive for 3 yrs???? THAT is a bit extreme... Its taking me 2yrs 2 pay off the fines anyway...


Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    I am so sorry to hear of your medical issues and that they have become legal issues. My knee-jerk reaction is that you need to talk to your doctor as much as your lawyer. Sign a release to allow your lawyer to talk to your doctor. If you take a drug that is legally prescribed, and it impairs your driving ability, you can be charged and convicted of driving under the influence. In other words, it is not necessarily a defense to simply present a prescription for the medication you were taking. Soma is a muscle relaxer that can impair your driving ability. The state can't just show that you were taking the drug - they have to show that it impaired your driving ability. Read the bottle and/or the information your pharmacist provided with the prescription. It could help or hurt, but you need and your lawyer need to know what it says. Bottom line is you need to get your doctor and your lawyer together to evaluate whether this med may have impaired your driving ability, and if your doctor might be able to assist in your defense. Good luck

  2. I am not certain as to why you would be getting an offer of 27 days in jail for a first time DUI. Yes a DUI can be under the influence of alcohol or any drug. It does not matter if you have a prescription what matters is that the drug would negatively affect your ability to drive. Soma specifically states that you should not drive while you are on that drug. You have an attorney and if you do not trust or have confidence in that attorney you need to hire a private attorney.
    Robert Driessen

    Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at

  3. Yes, you can get DUI for prescription drugs, or over the counter drugs for that matter. There are defenses to these cases tough, particularly if the driving was not that bad. If the driving is terrible, and speaking is slurred with problems walking, that will certainly not help things. Based on your physical issues though, poor results on balancing FST tests alone can be overcome.

    27 days seems like an odd offer. You should speak to your attorney about this. If you are not satisfied with your attorney, you should consider hiring a new one.

    Legal disclaimer: This message does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. This message does not establish an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established once a retainer agreement has been fully executed between you and this firm.

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