Mom Taking Migraine Meds Arrested for DUI

Nancy Harris Bonk Health Guide
  • We all know how debilitating a Migraine attack can be. While in the midst of one, most of us know there are things we should and shouldn't do. Yes, I am using the "should" word here.  For example, if are we alert and aware of any prodrome symptoms we may have, it's a good idea to take our abortive right away. Prodrome is the first phase of a Migraine attack which you can read more about in this article, Anatomy of a Migraine. Driving during a Migraine attack is never a good idea as one woman recently found out.


    Kathryn Relis was driving her 11-year-old daughter on a school field trip last week. She was driving recklessly, exceeding speeds of 70 mph to 90 mph and weaving in and out of traffic. Her daughter became increasingly alarmed because her mom wouldn't slow down  or pull over so she called her older sister on her cell phone. She told her older sister how awful her mother's driving was and that she scared. Her 31-year-old sister then called California Highway Patrol (CHP) and told them her mom was driving "under the influence of Migraine medication and refusing to pull over." In fact, another driver called and reported seeing an erratic driver on the same road too.

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    Ms. Relis was arrested on suspicion of DUI, driving under the influence of drugs, AND child endangerment. Although she was cooperative, she would not take a drug evaluation. CHP drove her 11-year-old daughter back home to be with her father and booked Ms. Relis.


    Ok - where does this leave someone with a Migraine who has to transport a child, run errands, or go to work?  How about using the phone and asking for help? Maybe there was another parent who could have driven her daughter to the field trip instead of risking their lives and everyone else's on the road. If there are errands to run, could they have been done later, on another day, or maybe someone else do them for you? Could you call a coworker to pick you up and bring you to work? NO school field trip, or errand is worth hurting yourself or others when you have a Migraine. Your reaction time is slower during a Migraine, and taking medications to abort or using rescue medications during attack makes things worse. See Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications - What's the Difference?.


    This reminds me of Captain John Cota, who was sailing the boat that smashed into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge a few years ago. His story was slightly different. He suffered from multiple conditions, took multiple medications and had been convicted of a drunk driving incident. Different but dangerously the same. For more information continue reading, Migraines, Depression, Drinking and "Driving". Putting other people's lives in their hands when they aren't in control of their mind and body.






    Associated Press. "Daughter reports mom's reckless driving in Ventura," SiliconValley. MercuryNews.Com. February 2, 2010. 


    Foxman, Adam. "Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI after daughter reports her to CHP."  February 4, 2010.


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    © Nancy H. Bonk

    Last updated February 12, 2010.

Published On: February 12, 2010