If it impairs your driving it is unsafe and you can be cited for a DUI. You should discuss this with your doctor since it will depend largely on the medication and your size and metabolism. I'm sure the laws are also different in each state, but the bottom line is if it impairs your driving you can be cited and if you are in an accident it will likely be used against you.
That is a great question. What I do know is a co-worker was struck from behind while stopped at a red light. She went to the hospital for a severe whiplash and they promptly drug tested her. She was ticketed for DUI because she had taken Vicodin 5/500 three hours before the accident. She was not impaired, she had taken Vicodin for years due to a ulna nerve injury. She apparently met the states definition of impairment. The driver that hit her was also ticketed for inattentive driving. His insurance refused to pay her damage due to her ticket. She tried to fight it but lost. Her insurance paid her damages but dropped her. She had only a small speeding ticket some 8 years prior to this accident, otherwise her driving record was clean.
I live in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where if you don't shovel the snow off your sidewalk in some towns and cities you are fined between $50.00 to $250.00. That applies to EVERYONE, including the disabled, handicapped and senior citizens.
It is my opinion if you are a long term legally prescribed opiate user and are not impaired you should be able to drive. I think law enforcement looks at it differently. I pray every time I get behind the wheel. I function fine with my opiates. They do not make me "high." But under the legal definition of impaired, I am.
I am hopeful others will have a better response to your question.
It is not illegal to drive while on pain meds. Like Tuck said, if you have an accident and are impaired with pain meds (narcotics) then the law can come after you not to mention the other driver that was involved in the accident. They can sue you til you have nothing left. Insurance companys will not cover the accident either. SO in reality, it is illegal to drive because your impaired. Take care,
Yeah, but I don't understand why some ER won't give you pain meds when I was asked did I drive? I tell them truth, yes and they just write RX. I can drive fine when I am on opiates as it doesn't make me sleepy... it keeps me wide wake and able to function just fine like normal? I even told them, but they won't.
Don't know the answer to main question but wanted to comment...
.....If dr. knows what he is doing he should be able to regulate amount and type of meds. a person takes to control pain without making them where they are not able to function.
People in true pain, that requires heavy duty meds, seldom if ever get "addicted" to the meds....as my dr. told me and I quote "patients do not become 'addicted' to pain medications..but...rather..they become "dependent" upon being ..out-of-pain"
....Speaking as someone who knows many folks ,in chronic class A pain , I do know it seems when meds are taken to control pain they do that..and not much else like give them a 'high'..
Being pain free and living without constant pain is a persons right. There is something called "A patients bill of rights"....
I get really upset at the dr's who fail to provide a means to live pain free because they are just down right "scared" to write an Narcotic RX. A doctor is obligated to "first do no harm" yet by not treating valid pain they "are doing harm".
Okay ...I will get off of my Soap Box related to Pain Treatment denied patients.
I can tell you my sister had a wreck cause this lady came on her side of the road and hit her but upon going to ER she had blood test done and had pain killers in her system but hadnt taken any since the day before. She lost her license for 2 yrs and then had to pay $5000 to be able to drive until 7:00pm for 2 more yrs. SHe now has normal license but the lady is sueing her for $250,000. She was 86 yrs old and you cant tell me she wasnt on some sort of meds at her age. I guess that is a chance we take if we take pain meds. Normally if your body truely needs the meds your pain recept. use the meds. and you dont get high. Like so many really want to do. Which hurt us that truely need them. Sometimes we may not realize that the meds are affecting our judgement cause we are so use to using them. I just take them at night and when I know I dont have to drive. I disagree about people do not become addicted to pain meds but rather depend on them. I know too many people who have tried to kick their addiction and cant. Unless they are depending on them to get them high and like the feeling. Sorry just my opinion. As far as patients right, the judicial system could care less about us.