In 2006, Janene Johns fatally struck Candace Tift, a local teacher, with her car in Newport Beach while under the influence of Xanax, Ambien and cough suppressants. She was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Prosecutors argued that she fell asleep at the wheel and hit Tift from behind with the car. She had been on medication due to an illness and to help deal with grief after her husband’s death. She was convicted last year and was sentenced to six years in prison. She appealed the decision in August, but the conviction was upheld this week.
Often times, people do not know that their prescription drugs can make them drowsy. If you drive while under the influence of any drug that impairs your driving, you can be charged with a DUI. Unfortunately, Johns may not have known about the effects of the drugs that made her fall asleep at the wheel and now faces prison time because of her actions. If you are on medications, make sure to read all of the directions and side effects before driving a car. Whether you live in Orange, Santa Ana or Huntington Beach, if you are charged with DUI manslaughter, call an experienced DUI defense attorney right away to assist you.