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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...


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Attorney answers 3


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



yes, the bottle says "USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING" - not that one can NOT drive... Also, my Dr. is freaking out about all this, doesn't care at ALL about my health care, only worried about her medical career... get this - she is pocketing the DUI and my meds together, and is NOW taking me of ALLLLL MY PAIN MEDS (methadone and perkocet 2 each per day) I have taken these for FIFTEEN YEARS with NOOOOO addictive issues, problems legal or otherwise, so, she is of NO help to me... its horrible.... She is using the excuse that they are not LONG TERM?????? well, then she tries to put me on celebrex/$128 WITH discount, we can't afford that and that is also --- yeah, NOT MEANT FOR LONG TERM USE........ she is nutso!!! and "I" am paying the price. She is also reducing my soma which is NOT a narcotic, what is her excuse for THAT. I can't drive for 2 yrs, cause of the fines alone!!!!! (husband out of work for 6 mo now, ss/dis not paying for medicare now, nightmare), so i have a pub def,. but she is really nice, and good. ----- I am on my 2nd extension. -----we are going for 2-3 yrs probation that i CANT DRIVE and to do the 30 days in house arrest ------omg I can't believe this is happening to me... I am -----I cant describe... shocked - it's like I killed a cops kid or something. ---------------I am handicapped, 54 and I organize outreaches for the homeless, drug addicts, veterans, try to help them w/rehab, housing, etc. and now THIS is happening to me?????? I dont get it.. :(.. thanks for your help YOU are the BEST ANSWER!!!!


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



my bottle says: use caution while driving... or i would NEVER have driven when using it or any other prescribed drug i use if that were the case :(...... ------------------- this is really a rock/hard spot situation: it's as though I had a heart attack.. it was UNPLANNED.... and would have also caused me to go off the road, or accident or whatever. this is so sad. I am not EVEN a person to be even THINKING of having to be sent to jail... i have been working w/drug addicts/homeless, the lowly, hurting, for years.. I know their tricks,drugs, etc. We/husband & I helped them find rehabs, homes, etc. now here "I" am.. how ironic... ------------------my pub def is brining the bottle to court because it says: USE CAUTION when driving/operating equip, etc. ---------oh well.. thanks again for being there for the FREE advice, this is a great site.



the bottle does NOT say you cant drive. why do lawyers and judges and cops think this? It clearly says USE CAUTION - I am bringing the bottle to court... sheesh



Personally, I think Soma should be taken OFF the market OR marked DO NOT DRIVE - and DO NOT operate equipment, etc. VS ----> use caution!!!!!! If these sorts of things happen, which they DO..... my dr's office has SINCE stopped even prescribing this drug!!!! I went off of it of course after this happened... obviously.. thanks!!!


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.



hi, sorry its 28 days. she said i will prob serve 19 IF they dont let me go b4 that due to all med equip i need, i.e. breathing machine, wheelchair, cane, walker, item grabber, commode lifter, shower seat, sling/ace bandage for L arm, and the list goes on, not to mention, I take various meds during 'course of day' not exact times (as needed AND mandatory times) - so, it's the HEALTH care aspect I am most concerned with. -------See, it just HIT me - literally - I was soooo dizzy, began to weave, THAT is when i turned corner to pull over and ALSO when LUCKILY ha ha ha NOTTT... I got pulled over by an officer - go figure - ------ anyway, I can't stand/walk well as it is, but they took me to hosp/for blood test, they saw no alcohol, abuse, etc. - i dont even drink or smoke for heaven's sake.... so... here I am... remember, I drove w/susp license I got FROM this dui, thus the 28 days....Can not hire atty, i have pub def assigned by court. Husb out of work 7 months, just began new job, we are in debt beyond measure... thanks so much for your help!!!!!!!!!

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