Richie Farmer, who is a former basketball player for the University of Kentucky and politician, recently pleaded guilty to DUI charges and was sentenced to 30 days in jail given he has no further violations for the next two years, according to Wave 3 News. Farmer was arrested back in March for operating his vehicle while under the influence of what may have been prescribed medication. Laurel County officials did say Farmer admitted to taking two hydrocodone pills and two muscle relaxers but refused to submit to a blood test.
Anytime an individual refuses to submit to a blood or breath test in Kentucky after an officer believes they are under the influence, they are automatically charged with DUI and face harsher penalties for the refusal.
Although Farmer was charged with DUI back in March, it wasn’t until May 2ndwhen he entered a guilty plea for the crime. Aside from having to spend some time in jail, Farmer was also required to pay a fine of $739, he had his license suspended, and he will need to complete alcohol and drug education classes. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Farmer has had to spend time behind bars. Back in 2004, while working as the state’s agriculture commissioner, he “began abusing his power in office by putting his friends on the payroll and using taxpayer dollars to buy personal gifts.” After officials took notice of the crime, he was later sentenced to 27 months in prison.
One thing many individuals often fail to take into account is that while most are arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol, there are plenty who are arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of prescription medication or even something from over-the-counter that is known to impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle. That is why you never want to get behind the wheel if you are taking any type of medication that is known to make you drowsy, fatigued, or will impair your coordination and reaction times. Driving under these conditions not only puts your own life at risk, but the others around you as well.
What are some medications you should never take when driving?
There are few medications in particular that are known to have an adverse effect on your ability to drive and we are sharing with you what these are to help prevent you from taking something that could lead to a DUI accident and/or an arrest.
- Pain relievers. Medications such as morphine and codeine are known to cause “sleepiness, dizziness, euphoria, and disorientation,” according to Huffington Post. For that reason, you should never get behind the wheel when you are taking any type of pain reliever.
- Antihistamines. Medications such as Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec would be considered an antihistamine and although many are now made without the ingredients that make you drowsy, Huffington Post points out that many people assume that all antihistamines are non-drowsy and neglect to read the label. The best thing you can do if you aren’t sure whether a medication will make you drowsy is look at the label and see if any ingredient ends with “aime.” If so, it could very well make you sleepy.
- Antidepressants. Medications such as Trazodone and Nefazodone are known to cause drowsiness and slow reaction times in many who take it while Lexapro and Prozac can lead to insomnia which might also make you tired and slow during the daytime hours which is not the way you need to feel when you are driving and could potentially have to stop or slow down abruptly.
It is important that you become aware of what types of medications can lead to impaired judgement so you avoid taking them when you know you have to drive.
- Antianxiety agents and muscle relaxants. Most medications that are taken to treat anxiety and to help with muscle pain and spasms “may have a tranquilizing effect that can impair judgement and reaction times.” Aside from medications such as Xanax or Valium, you also need to be aware of “natural” products that might have melatonin in it.
You can visit the Huffington Post by clicking here to read more on what other types of medications you should avoid if you are going to be driving.
It is important to become aware of this as many are under the impression that taking medication cannot lead to a DUI. Unfortunately, it can, and it often does. And when charged with the crime, you will be faced with harsh punishments that can have a long-term effect on your life.
Therefore, anyone who has been charged with DUI will want to seek legal representation from a Louisville, KY DUI defense lawyer immediately. Not only can they help in getting your charges reduced but also your penalties. If you need help with locating a lawyer in Louisville today, contact USAttorneys.com.