"Do not operate heavy machinery", like a car?
Driving under the influence of alcohol or another drug is actually more of an issue than most people recognize. Sure, there are groups against drunk driving, such as MADD, which help bring to light some of the issues.
While alcohol is the main culprit, being easily available and readily served, it is not the only substance we should be concerned about. Alcohol is still the most dangerous in terms of numbers of crashes, loss of life and damage caused to society. In 2005, there were more than 31 million people over the age of 12 who reported driving under the influence of alcohol.
During the same year over 10 million people aged 12 or older also reported driving under the influence of an illicit drug. Whether someone is nodding out from opiates such as heroin, oblivious to others on marijuana or driving aggressively because of stimulants like meth or cocaine, they’re still a menace on the streets.
There have been additional threats in recent years though, and that is people driving under the influence of drugs legally prescribed to them. Even at the recommended dose some of these drugs can be very dangerous when combined with driving.
Last year the New York Times and MSNBC reported that there was a major increase in the number of DUI arrests involving the prescription sleep aid Ambien across the country. The category is not just limited to sleeping pills. Other types of medications can be equally as hazardous. An article from a teacher was posted on About.com where she talked about getting arrested for driving under the influence of her prescription because she was weaving in her lane and failed a field sobriety test.
Despite most people knowing that it’s there and ignoring it, the label on these drugs says, “Do not operate heavy machinery” and is there for a reason. So, it might be good to do yourselves and others a favor and not let people on these medications drive, regardless of how long they’ve already been doing it. It might just keep them from going to jail or injuring themselves or someone else.
Article by Eric