Arizona Legislators Consider Banning Methadone Users from Driving

Arizona’s state legislators debated this week the pros and cons of banning methadone users from driving, and in the end voted to amend the state’s DUI law to allow methadone users to drive only if they are taking their medication as prescribed, the Arizona Republic reported June 21.

The Senate’s Public Safety & Human Services Committee heard arguments from victims of a 2007 car crash in Cottonwood, in which a driver taking methadone in combination with other drugs swerved into a car carrying five high-school cheerleaders.

“Methadone should be illegal to people who abuse it,” said crash victim Shantel Haught. “I don’t know why they let them drive. It’s just so unfair.”

Medical professionals argued that methadone is safe and does not impair people unless they used it in combination with other drugs. Banning methadone users from driving also would hinder their recovery, experts testified.

The change to the DUI law was cleared by the committee and later approved by the full Senate.

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