By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter
DEWITT — Driving under the influence doesn’t simply mean drunk driving. Prescription drugs can also impair a driver, something a 27-year-old woman allegedly learned the hard way earlier this month.
The woman was arrested by DeWitt Township police for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs after an alleged hit-and-run with a mailbox on March 5, police officials said.
Driving under the influence doesn’t only deal with illegal drugs and alcohol, it includes any mood or mind-altering substance, says Diana Julian, substance abuse/program manager and counselor at McAlister Institute.
Julian says being aware that driving under the influence involves prescription drug abuse is very important.
“Most prescription medications that can affect driving will have a warning label on the prescription itself, as well as information in the paperwork they give you when you pick up a prescription about the side effects,” said Julian.
A male witness stated that he was driving behind the suspect’s vehicle on West Clark Road heading west when he observed the vehicle all over the roadway. The vehicle then allegedly left the road and hit a mailbox, police reports said.
The 27-year-old woman allegedly then turned onto Schavey Road and made a wide turn into the oncoming lanes and almost hit a red pickup truck. The witness followed the vehicle onto Apple Tree Lane then watched the vehicle park. He saw the woman get out of the car and go into an apartment building, police reports said.
When a police arrived at the apartment the door was already open. When he announced himself a female allegedly came out of the room and later identified as the 27-year-old woman, said police.
The woman was allegedly slurring her speech and had a hard time keeping her balance, police said.
An officer at the scene reported that the woman stated she was not drinking and that she was driving her car. She stated she had only taken her prescribed prescription and could not say how much. She said that she should not be driving when she takes her prescriptions and that her mother told her not to drive that day.
The woman agreed to take sobriety tests. She allegedly did not pass the test but she was telling the truth when she stated that she was not drinking, police said.
When asked she allegedly first stated that she didn’t remember hitting anything and then later said she knew she hit something but was unsure as to what it was, the police report said.
She was allegedly very confused and could not make sense of what she was saying, police said.
The woman’s boyfriend of one year was alleged to be home but didn’t stop her from driving because he was asleep, police said.
“When she is like this I take her keys away to keep her from driving,” he told police, according to reports.
She is currently out on bond and her case is pending in District Court, said officials.