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Prescription Medications And DUI: Answers To Your Questions

Law Blog

You may think that you are safe from a DUI charge if you don't drink or do illegal drugs, but this simply isn't true. It is possible to get pulled over and charged with a DUI for taking the medications that your doctor has prescribed to you. This can be a frightening and stressful experience for an otherwise law-abiding citizen. The following guide can better help you understand the situation and what you can do about it.

How can you prove that it's a prescription drug?

Prescription drugs won't show up on a breathalyzer, so the arresting officer will likely use a combination of roadside tests and notes upon your behavior and driving. Unfortunately, this doesn't indicate that your failure to pass these tests are due to a doctor-prescribed medication. You have a legal right to a blood test, so insist upon calling a lawyer and arranging for the blood test as soon as possible. The test results can be used to determine the medications in your blood and that they are at the dosage levels prescribed.

Does the drug being prescribed exonerate you?

Not necessarily. If the pharmacy provides information packets or labeling detailing that the medication may cause drowsiness or other issues that affect driving, you could still be held accountable for getting behind the wheel. On the other hand, if the pharmacy failed to provide these warnings, your lawyer may be able to use the information to lessen or fully remove the charges.

What if the doctor said it was okay to drive?

In some cases your doctor may tell you that driving is okay on a medication that lists a driving warning. This is usually the case when you have been on a medication for a long enough period that you are no longer susceptible to minor side effects, or if you are on a lower dosage that doesn't usually carry the same concerns. Unfortunately, this is typically word of mouth, so it can only help you if your doctor is willing to testify or send in a written statement on your behalf.

Will you need a lawyer?

It's best to hire an attorney to help you through this legal maze. They may be able to help get the charges dropped or lessened, especially if you were taking your medication as prescribed, have no prior criminal record, and did not cause physical or property damage. There are no guarantees, though. This is why it's important to call an area DUI attorney at a law firm such as Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices as soon as possible if you find yourself facing a charge for prescription medications.


14 October 2016