DUI Arrest and Prescription Drugs
By: Mary Ann Pekara
Contrary to popular belief, driving under the influence of prescription drugs can lead to a DUI arrest. It is important to know that drunk driving laws are not just limited to alcohol-induced impairment. A driver can be arrested for driving under the influence of prescription medication or illegal drugs just as they can be arrested for driving while drunk after consuming alcoholic beverages.
As prescription drug use rises, the number of DUIs that occur involving drugs that are not alcohol rise as well. Prescription drugs, particularly if used incorrectly or together, may present a real threat for drivers and for others on the road. But there are issues of awareness when it comes to prescription medications. Some might not realize the risks, and the drugs may have unintended consequences, like increasing the impact of alcohol in the system.
If you are facing DUI charges and were using prescription drugs at the time you may want to speak with a DUI lawyer about your rights. In some cases, the unknown side effects of a legal drug are ground for defending yourself. Get answers with a DUI lawyer when you complete the free form on this page.
Challenges for the Prosecution In Prescription Drug DUI Cases
Recent news sources have reported that prescription drug DUI arrests are on the rise. These news sources have also brought attention to the difficulty that law enforcement officials are having in setting standards for prescription drug impairment. While lots of research has gone into learning what levels of alcohol impairment are the most dangerous, and can be legally considered impairment, the same is not the case for prescription drugs and driving.
While typical symptoms of impairment might be reported as visible to police, and the presence of prescription meds in the blood is detected, some juries have found it difficult to come to a satisfactory conclusion about guilt or innocence in terms of DUI. Prescription drugs often have unknown side effects.
This does not mean that if you were using medicine at the time of your arrest you will be excused of the charges. The prosecution can still move forward with a charge based on other evidence of impairment collected by police on the scene and other law enforcement. The criminal penalties of driving under the influence of drugs are real, as well as the danger.
Talk to a DUI Attorney
If you are facing DUI charges and prescription drugs were involved you may want to take quick action to protect your rights. Learn about your options during a free case evaluation with a DUI lawyer near you when you complete the form on this page.