Country music legend Lynn Anderson has been charged with drunk driving after crashing her car, according to recent news report from News 2 Nashville. Anderson had a series of chart-topping hits in the 70s and 80s including “I never promised you a rose garden.”
Police responded to a motor vehicle accident and noticed that one of the drivers was showing signs of impairment. That driver, Anderson, is alleged to have admitted drinking and driving and to having ingested prescription medication prior to getting behind the wheel. This was not the first time she was arrested on DUI charges. Anderson was arrested in 2004 after being found by police passed out in her car on the side of a road.
As our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers understand, many drivers who have caused a serious accident seem to be under the belief that they are allowed to drive after taking powerful prescription medications. This could not be farther from the truth.
Let’s first look at cases involving alcohol. As long as you are 21 years of age or older, it is completely legal to drink alcohol. It is not however, legal to drive a car after becoming intoxicated. Drunk driving is negligent driving.
The same holds true with prescription drugs that impair one’s ability to safely drive a motor vehicle. If person is prescribed Percocet, they are legally on the drug and take it as prescribed by their physician. They are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle if the drug has impaired their ability to safely drive. Not only can they be charged with an OUI Drugs in Massachusetts, they can also be found liable at a civil trial if they caused an accident.
In addition to common sense, which tells us this is negligent, the bottle contained a drug information monograph and one or more warning stickers that caution against driving after taking the medication. In the case of many controlled substances, there is usually a warning not mix the medication with alcohol, as that can increase the effects.
In any negligence action, plaintiff must establish that defendant owed a duty of care to act as a reasonable and prudent person to prevent foreseeable injury to foreseeable plaintiffs. Acting like a reasonable person means avoiding engaging in behavior that a reasonable person would know or should know possesses such a substantial risk. In the case of prescription medication, the warning labels and information from the patient’s doctor provides actual knowledge that driving a motor vehicle or operating heavy machinery may result in a tragic accident.
When combining the effects of prescription narcotics with alcohol, it would be very difficult for a defendant to establish getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is not a negligent act.
It should also be noted that this applied to medications taken at a clinic in addition to those purchased a pharmacy. Massachusetts, especially the Boston metro area, has had incidents of heroin addiction well above national averages for many years. Regardless of the reason for this, many who seek treatment are given methadone at clinics across the region. If patient takes an oral dose of methadone and then crashes their car, it is just as negligent as if they had been on heroin.
If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Grammy, CMA winner Lynn Anderson arrested for DUI, September 12, 2014, News 2 Nashville
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