Alcohol is generally known to interact with just about everything, to some extent. So why not say that you were unaware of the effect of alcohol interacting with whatever it is that you’ve been prescribed?
A drink-driver’s legal team asked about medicines possibly influencing police test results or altering her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in some way. The subject was on (inter alia) diazepam, lithium and sertraline at the time of the crash.
The defendant also raised the question that medication given to her by paramedics at the scene immediately following her crash may have been relevant.
However, no drugs were recorded as given at the scene and there were no interactions that affected the analyses, although there was significant scope for potential drug interactions in this case. But these could not have affected the blood alcohol concentration results.
A drink-drive defendant initially made a statement to police which was both likely and technically feasible in every aspect.
But, foolishly, he later changed his story to introduce prescribed medicines and the possibility of drug interactions both with each other and the police tests. However, the blood alcohol concentration timing results were inconsistent with this revised story.
It then became apparent that the client’s recent gastric bypass surgery would have significantly affected the absorption of alcohol, and, given this information, I proposed a theoretical scenario based on the original story which fitted the police results. The subject then admitted that this was true.
Story changing is always dangerous, but this case does illustrate how drug causation as a potential defence is looked at firstly.
Dr Bliss is a member of the
Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Dr Bliss is a full member of the
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