John McAfee, the creator of the eponymously -named commercial antivirus software has had his share of troubles in recent years. Incidents such as fleeing the nation of Belize to avoid arrest by local police or losing much of his fortune in the Great Recession. Now the tech magnate has been arrested in Henderson Conuty, Tennessee, for driving under the influence, and possession of a firearm while intoxicated . . .
Paranoid wild man of infosec John McAfee was arrested in the US state of Tennessee over the weekend – and charged with driving under the influence, and possession of a handgun while intoxicated.
The charismatic ex-boss of security software biz McAfee can be seen grinning in his police mugshot.
McAfee the man, or at least one of his team, told El Reg via email on Tuesday evening: “Yes, I was arrested while under the influence of Xanax. It was a brand new prescription received the same day of the arrest, and the physician neglected to warn me about driving while taking it.
“As to the weapons, I always carry them and, unless one is impaired, they are legal to possess and carry.”
Xanax is a prescription anti-anxiety medication; its label states:
Because of its CNS depressant effects, patients receiving XANAX should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations or activities requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. For the same reason, patients should be cautioned about the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other CNS depressant drugs during treatment with XANAX.
Assuming all of the facts stated in the article cited above to be true, McAfee’s doctor clearly either didn’t know who he was dealing with or didn’t care. I say this because a recent article in the USA Today mentions that “the 69-year-old McAfee…has been described as ‘mysterious,’ ‘drug-addled,’ ‘insane,’ ‘manipulative’ and ‘brilliant.'” In short, if you’re going to prescribe this guy meds that interact badly with popular recreational drugs, you should probably put up a huge, flashing neon warning sign.
Still, I believe in individual responsibility, and if carrying a firearm isn’t something that requires “complete mental alertness”, I don’t know what is. If you carry every day, it’s your business to know how the drugs (prescription or otherwise) you’re ingesting affect your mental alertness, and there’s no excuse for being unaware of something that’s printed on the package insert or available online. Being sufficiently out of it to warrant an arrest for DUI while carrying a firearm is over the line, so I’d say that John has earned himself an Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day Award.
Let’s hope it doesn’t go to his head.
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.