DEAR ABBY: I don't drink and have always despised alcohol and drunk drivers. On New Year's Eve in 1982, my 26-year-old brother was killed by a drunk driver.
Well, to my shock, I had a terrible car crash that has left me hospitalized for the last three weeks. I am missing one-third of the muscle and tissue in my leg. I cannot get skin grafts and reconstructive surgery for several more weeks.
The reason for the car crash was that when I decided to run to the store late one night, I misjudged how my tranquilizer medication would affect me because I was unusually tired.
Now I am charged with DUI! Not only am I in excruciating pain, I am emotionally devastated about being charged with a DUI. I never would have thought in a million years that something like this could happen.
Please print this, Abby, so people will realize that you can get a DUI for reasons other than drunk driving, and that the warning labels on your prescription bottle are there for a reason. If even one person is spared what I'm going through, it will be well worth sharing what I endured.
I thank God every day that I didn't kill someone or hurt anyone else. -- PAINFULLY WISER IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR WISER: You are generous to want others to learn from what could have been a fatal error, and I hope your recovery is swift and complete. Those little labels on prescription bottles warning consumers not to take the medication in combination with driving or operating heavy equipment are there for a reason, as your experience clearly illustrates.