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Author Topic: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds  (Read 4289 times)

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Offline zach

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DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« on: December 11, 2010, 05:41:54 AM »
I haven't shared this here yet, because its been a little overwhelming. Last week while sitting at a red light I had a serious head rush, sorta passed out, and had a nose bleed. The driver next to me came over and helped me, while I paniced at the sight of my blood. EMS was called, and police arrived with them. I disclosed my status, and while being questioned (I thought at the time I was being helped) I told the officers what meds I take; Atripla and Bactrim are the only prescriptions. I was arrested for DUI Drugs/presciption, taken to jail, given a blood test, and put in a cell for nearly 48 hours. During that time I asked for my Atipla dose, it was never given, marking my first missed dose since I started this ride. I was released on my own recognizance. I face arraignment in a few weeks. I'm afraid not just of whatever punishment is handed out for my heinous offense, but at the thought of my status becoming a matter of public record. Apparently it doesn't matter that I wasn't drunk, or using illegal drugs, etc. My lawyer says he can maayybeeee get this dismissed, but nothing is promised. I've cried alot.

I am deeply thankful no one was hurt. But now I just want to move far away, to some place that doesn't treat "the aids" like I should be happy I ain't tied to cross before it's lit.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 06:17:41 AM »
•Dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, and/or unusual dreams.These side effects tend to go away after taking ATRIPLA® (efavirenz
600 mg/ emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir DF 300 mg) for a few weeks. These symptoms may be more severe with the use of alcohol and/or mood-altering (street) drugs. If you are dizzy, have trouble concentrating, and/or are drowsy, avoid activities that may be dangerous, such as driving or operating machinery.

Offline wolfter

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2010, 07:08:01 AM »
This should be dismissed at the arraignment.  I previously worked with the probation department in the municipal court division.  I prepared status updates and have quite a bit of knowledge in this field.  I'm surprised you were even charged since your prescribed medicines are not narcotics.  A person can be charged with DUI on prescription narcotics if it impairs your ability to operate a vehicle.  Not sure if you're paying for this attorney, but I'd question him if he plans on asking for the case to be dismissed.  He should be able to discuss this with the county prosecutor beforehand and explain the sensitive nature of the evidence.  I'm confident that everything will be fine and you won't face consequences.  Let me know how it turns out.  You can PM if need be. 

Greg
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline zach

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 07:25:55 AM »
I was not using alcohol or any street drugs. I am aware of those warnings, and try to deal with my side effects as responsibly as possible. Is it a logical conclusion to that line of reasoning that + people on medication shouldn't be allowed to drive? I'm always "on" Atripla.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2010, 08:40:51 AM »
I was not using alcohol or any street drugs. I am aware of those warnings, and try to deal with my side effects as responsibly as possible. Is it a logical conclusion to that line of reasoning that + people on medication shouldn't be allowed to drive? I'm always "on" Atripla.
That is not what it says.

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 09:46:43 AM »
What a nightmare that must have been. Hope it all works out.

Offline leatherman

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 09:47:30 AM »
Has anything like this happened before? Have you had other (perhaps) milder side effects?

I had to quit working and quit driving after the first two months that I took Sustiva because too many days the drug left me disorientated, dizzy and impaired. This was back in the late 90s and I had no other alternative to take, and had to stay on this med for 9 months. I quit taking it when one morning I just could not shake off the dizziness, and fell down the staircase becoming quite banged up and bruised; but thankfully not breaking my neck when I landed in a heap at the bottom - especially as I was living alone at that time.

If you're going to be passing out while driving (which has already happened this once) perhaps you should also talk to your doctor about changing to another med regimen that doesn't have this known side effect.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 10:01:01 AM »
I can't imagine this being a good bust - hard to believe the charge will stick. Seems to me you were abused being held and not getting your medicine, as well.
Further along, also seems like you shouldn't be driving, if that can be avoided at all, and as Leatherman says, can you get onto another combo that won't produce this?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Grinch

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2010, 04:12:59 PM »
The nose bleed combined with dizziness is indicative of further underlying issues.
I'd see a doctor.  If your platelet/RBC count is low and caused the light headedness and nosebleed, then it would stand to reason that the Atripla was not to blame and your case would be dismissed as you had a medical condition that you were unaware of.

Offline zach

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2010, 08:11:14 PM »
the light headed was more powerful than i've dealt with before but not new, i used to get nose bleed alot when i was a kid, but not recently, i have had low blood pressure since at least july of this year

i totally feel what yall are saying about being not driving and looking into another arv... i do think atripla probably saved my life, but it may be time to move on to something i can live with better

@ rod, sorry if i snapped off

@ all, thanks, i do hope it's dismissed

Offline buginme2

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2010, 08:56:30 PM »
You need Denny Crane

Do you live in a red state? That sounds like absolute bs.  If anything happens to you it would be a horrible injustice
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline tednlou2

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2010, 02:56:23 AM »
I would start searching for a lawyer and sue.  This is the only way change happens.  I would think probably the majority of drivers are on some kind of medication.  If everyone was arrested because of this, then we'd all be in jail.  And, the fact they wouldn't give you your meds deserves a lawsuit.  If you aren't open about your status, I would think a lawyer could petition the court to have any identifying info sealed.   

I have never heard of someone being arrested--unless it involved narcotic medications like pain meds, Xanax, etc.  Even those arrests seem unfair--unless it was proved the person took more than prescribed.   

Offline Dachshund

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2010, 07:00:30 AM »
It's a good thing they took a blood test because that will rule out alcohol or any other illegal drugs in your system. I'm no fan of the po-po, but most likely they were just following procedure. They have heard every excuse in the book from someone driving while impaired. All they do is make the arrest and a judge or jury decides guilt or innocence. If you're uncomfortable with your lawyer ask around and find a lawyer well versed in this area of the law. You don't want a real estate attorney handling a DUI case.

Offline zach

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2010, 05:29:16 AM »
i spoke to the lawyer last night, he tells me not to worry at all, arraignment this afternoon, first time i've ever been accused so i'm worried... seems the blood tests went well, lawyer also pointed out that by the time the cops arrived i was sitting on the sidewalk and totally coherent, fingers crossed

Offline WillyWump

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2010, 11:08:29 AM »
Horrible situation.

Albeit unfortunate, from the officers standpoint and the law it was a good arrest, and here's why..DUI is of course "driving under the influence", it is not specific to alcohol or illegal drugs and can cover anything that impairs your ability to safely operate a vehicle. The officers duty is to arrest an individual who is operating a vehicle unsafely due to any substance ingested which adversely affects a persons ability to drive. He had eyewitness testimony that stated you were impaired in some way and even though you regained some function when he arrived it was probably still apparent to him that you were impaired in some way (we would have to see the officers statement).  The officer does not know you, and does not know your medical history, and had to act based on the totality of the circumstance to protect the public, and you. Thus, there was enough evidence to make an arrest. Afterall it was a good thing that this didn't happen while you were in the fast lane on the interstate. But an arrest is merely that, it does not equal a conviction.

It is our responsibility to make sure we are capable of driving a vehicle regardless of the drugs we are taking. I'm not preaching, as this situation could happen to me tomorrow, and you definitely have my sympathy.  It's just important that we be aware so that we do not hurt ourselves or others.

So obviously it is going to be up to the judge as to whether he dismisses or not. At least in Texas he COULD sentence you, although highly unlikely. There are some thing you can do as "extra insurance", I would get a letter from your doctor stating that Atripla could cause some CNS issues AND that he/she will be changing your medications immediately. Even so you will probably still be at least verbally reprimanded by the Judge and told that in essence it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not impaired in the least bit when you operate a vehicle...Do not try to argue with the judge that it was merely a prescription medication, it doesn't matter to him or the law. Just say your "yes your honor's" and hopefully you will walk unscathed, other than the 48 hours you spent in the slammer.

On that note, something to remember going forward (for all of us), is that medical care in jail is sketchy at best and virtually nonexistent in intake or holding, emergencies being the exception perhaps. it is up to us to be extremely persistent in demanding our medications while in jail. Typically there is some kind of medical questioning upon arrival at jail, at that point is where the demands begin, tell the medical officer the next time you are due your medications, tell them that it is imperative that you get the medication and that is is medically mandatory that you receive it. it might be a good idea to have your doctors name and phone number memorized so that you can give the information to the officer at intake. Just having your doctors card in your wallet may not work as you may not be able to access any personal items. After intake you need to follow up with the guard and as much as possible .." Sir, do you have any information on when I will receive my medication?". Be polite, jail is not the place for anger. Continue doing this until you either receive your medication or you get information on when you will receive it. Ask for a pen and paper, take specific notes on what you asked and when you asked for it (names, times and dates). They may or may not allow you to have pen/paper. If they do not, you will need to call a family member/attorney and relay the information to them so they can take notes for you. Also have your family member call your doctor and have them fax the information to the jail. If you are incarcerated for an extended period of time and you still have not received your medication after 48 hours demand to see the officer in charge, and demand paper and pencil so that you can keep records. Draft a letter to the Sheriff demanding your medication, at the same time have a family member call Lamda Legal. Also have your attorney make demands that you receive your medications.

On a side note, it's not clear whether you declined medical help at the scene. In the future I would tell EMS that you do not feel well (dizzy, etc..) and ask to be transported. This will get you into the hospital and medical evaluation and possible treatment. This may help your case. You may still be arrested upon release from the hospital, but alot of times an officer will not want to wait and do all the paperwork, and after consultation with the doctors that no illicit drugs or alcohol were found in your system he may issue you a summons, or he may just close the case as a "medical emergency call". In which case you will avoid spending a night in jail.

Good luck my thoughts are with you. Keep us posted.

-Will
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 11:24:34 AM by WillyWump »
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2010, 11:10:44 AM »
error
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline David_CA

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2010, 02:02:56 PM »
I think the lesson I've learned from this is not to disclose anything (about meds).  Knowing what the OP went through, I'd not mention anything... I just had a nose bleed and some dizziness (or whatever symptoms).  I'd not mention that any meds I was taking could cause that problem.  The blood test might show Atripla, but I doubt most LE people would know what its possible side effects are.  Even if they did, they'd not be able to prove that the situation was caused by the Atripla.  I always carry a dose of Atripla with me for emergencies where I can't get my usual dose.  As important as adherence is, the 95% compliance that's mentioned is around 10 days (per year)... I'd just consider that one of my missed doses if I missed a dose. 

I don't mean that I wouldn't disclose to medical personnel that I'm HIV+; I just may not mention that I take meds that could make me dizzy. 
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline BT65

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2010, 02:11:36 PM »
And of course if someone on Atripla goes to the hospital, and is urine-screened for drugs, s/he could test positive for cannabinoid.  Then, if the person hadn't told the dr. about the prescription, what would one say?  "oh, but doc, it's the meds I take, it's not really pot."  That's a sketchy area.

Will, did you work for the corrections system?  You seem pretty knowledgable. 

On a side note, in the county jail in the town I live in, there are quite a few guards being investigated for bringing contraband into the prisoners (drugs).  No surprise, though, I'm sure.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline David_CA

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2010, 02:38:24 PM »
And of course if someone on Atripla goes to the hospital, and is urine-screened for drugs, s/he could test positive for cannabinoid.  Then, if the person hadn't told the dr. about the prescription, what would one say?  "oh, but doc, it's the meds I take, it's not really pot."  That's a sketchy area.

Will, did you work for the corrections system?  You seem pretty knowledgable. 

On a side note, in the county jail in the town I live in, there are quite a few guards being investigated for bringing contraband into the prisoners (drugs).  No surprise, though, I'm sure.

It's not sketchy, actually.  It's been discussed on these forums that one should mention that one is taking Atripla / Sustiva prior to a drug screening.  There's a different test available that will distinguish the difference.  I was merely stating that I would NOT state, to any LE or other first responders, in a case like this, that I was taking any meds that could cause the dizziness.  Hell, caffeine, some antibiotics... many drugs / meds list dizziness and/or lightheadedness as possible side effects.  Like I stated, there is no reason to give additional things that can be used against oneself in this situation.  I'd risk "oh, but doc, it's the meds I take, it's not really pot."  versus going through what the OP has, but, like I stated, this is my opinion.
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline zach

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2010, 04:33:40 PM »
dismissed, solicitor seemed uncomfortable, judge never spoke, many lessons learned, never disclose being very high on that list, as always thank you all for being here

Offline dixieman

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2010, 05:02:05 PM »
I'm glad your case was dismissed but, I can not believe this happened in the first place? especially in Atlanta... home of the bug! in the south?

Offline tednlou2

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2010, 12:55:04 AM »
I agree that it is best to not say anything that could be used against you.  We may think it was a medication that caused it, but it could have been due to something else.  Many people get low blood sugar, if they haven't eaten in a while.  Or, if it is a hot day, people could have those symptoms.  It is probably best to say you don't know what happened, because many of us wouldn't really know what the real cause was.   

If this happened to an "all-American" looking guy with his nice wife and kids in the car coming home from church, I doubt an arrest would have been made.  If you had been 80 years-old, I doubt an arrest would have occurred.  The officer probably would have called the 80 year-olds family to come pick him/her up.  Police make unfair assumptions all the time based on how people look, their race, or age.       

Offline zach

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2010, 03:57:04 AM »
I'm glad your case was dismissed but, I can not believe this happened in the first place? especially in Atlanta... home of the bug! in the south?

north of atl, in the foothills, think deliverance...

i'm an all american looking guy i think, maybe i'm wrong

if it were to ever happen again, i'm keeping my mouth shut


Offline wolfter

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2010, 04:03:52 AM »
I'd certainly play the deliverance game with you!  ;)
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2010, 04:46:27 AM »
north of atl, in the foothills, think deliverance...

i'm an all american looking guy i think, maybe i'm wrong

if it were to ever happen again, i'm keeping my mouth shut



More pictures and we'll verify for ourselves.  Shirtless please.

Offline BT65

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2010, 05:05:48 AM »
It's not sketchy, actually.  It's been discussed on these forums that one should mention that one is taking Atripla / Sustiva prior to a drug screening.  There's a different test available that will distinguish the difference.  I was merely stating that I would NOT state, to any LE or other first responders, in a case like this, that I was taking any meds that could cause the dizziness.  Hell, caffeine, some antibiotics... many drugs / meds list dizziness and/or lightheadedness as possible side effects.  Like I stated, there is no reason to give additional things that can be used against oneself in this situation.  I'd risk "oh, but doc, it's the meds I take, it's not really pot."  versus going through what the OP has, but, like I stated, this is my opinion.

Oh, I agree not to say anything to the cops.  I was thinking more of the ER doctor.  To tell the cops that I was on a med that may have caused the impairement would be like an automatic guilty sentence, in the cop's mind.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline madbrain

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2010, 05:57:45 AM »
Good to hear the case was dismissed. Are you going to file a lawsuit for not being given your meds while in jail ? I would if it had happened to me. That would of course out cause you to out yourself.

About a year and a half ago, the cops stopped me at night on the freeway near Oakland, driving the POZ mobile, with my bf. They claimed I was driving erratically. I don't believe that for a second, I was even driving the speed limit that day incidentally, and there was no erratic driving of any kind before I saw the light on the cop car - I couldn't figure out why they had picked me. It was just over 2am, which in Cali is bar's closing time - they aren't allowed to serve alcohol after that. The cops asked where we were coming from and what we were doing there. I said Steamworks, which is a popular gay bath house in Berkeley, and I would have been happy to explain to them what that was, and what we were doing there in graphic detail. But my bf, visibly ashamed of where we actually were, said we were at a party.(just FYI they don't serve or allow alcohol at Steamworks). Once the cops heard two different stories, they made me get out of the car, asked if I had any alcohol. I said it had been over a day, which it had. They asked if I was on any kind of med. I told them yes, but the same meds that I had been on for years. I wasn't on HAART back then yet. They made me do all kinds of silly things like count and follow their fingers. Finally they had to let me go.

Offline wolfter

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2010, 07:19:51 AM »
As I mentioned earlier, I worked with the probation department of our local adult muncipial court.  There have been a few comments about not giving meds.  This isn't entirely what happens.  The jails don't readily have access to the medications and they typically order them.  An inmate's family can bring them meds as long as they are in prescription form.  Otherwise, you have to see the facility doctor/nurse practioner who can authorize the meds.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2010, 10:49:55 AM »
There have been a few comments about not giving meds.  This isn't entirely what happens.  The jails don't readily have access to the medications and they typically order them.  An inmate's family can bring them meds as long as they are in prescription form.  Otherwise, you have to see the facility doctor/nurse practioner who can authorize the meds.

I suppose it is different depending on the jurisdiction you are dealing with. I can only speak to Texas, (Travis and Hays County specifically) where I worked previously. If a family member brings a bottle of prescription meds for an inmate they will NOT be allowed to leave the medication for the inmate. It will be a wasted trip for the family. However the jailer will take the information off the bottle (Doctors name, Ph#, medication name, etc..) they will then call the doctor to verify and then have the infirmary dispense. For obvious reasons this is done, to avoid the influx or illegal or non-prescribed medications entering the facility (people can forge medication bottles and even if the med is verified with the doctor, the pill itself may be something else than whats listed) Of course there are also liability issues, the county wants to have complete control over the dispensing of medications to inmates.

If seen exceptions made, but only when dealing with Juveniles.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline wolfter

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Re: DUI Drugs, for AIDS Meds
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2010, 05:29:03 PM »
I should have qualified my statements.  I never thought that other areas might be different than our little rural county in Ohio.  I guess the moral of this story, always ask if you go to jail.   Just hope I never need to.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

 


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