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Tiger Woods reminds us that a DUI is not the same thing as drunk driving

Tiger Woods was recently arrested in Jupiter, Florida and charged with Driving Under the Influence after he was found asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle. His car was still running at the time of his arrest. What surprised many was the information that he did not have any alcohol in his system. Instead, he had combined a mix of painkillers which caused him to doze off behind the wheel. I know what you may be thinking, "How can you get a DUI when you haven't consumed any alcohol. What kind of weird, crazy, legislative madness is Florida up to?"

I'm here to let you know that, at least in this situation, Florida isn't as crazy as you may think.

In Section 18.2-266(ii) of the Virginia Code it states that:

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely.

No mention of alcohol, no mention of 0.08 BAC. Several of these "no alcohol" DUIs arise from taking prescription medications. It is important to know just how those medications work, and how they interact with other medications that you may be taking.

Tiger Woods has the benefit of being a public figure that has had some very publicized back surgeries in the recent past. He will have the benefit of that public past when he goes to court.

If you have been stopped and charged with a DUI after mixing prescriptions or reading a prescription bottle incorrectly you may not have the same ability to walk into court wearing your green jacket the way that Tiger Woods can.

If you have recently received a DUI or any other driving infraction in Virginia, please contact the Law Office of James R. Elliott today at (757) 898-4805 and I would be happy to help with whatever situation you may be facing.

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