While it is entirely common to hear about somebody being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for drinking or taking illegal drugs and getting behind the wheel, you might be alarmed to find that the prescription medications you have been given could also put you at risk for criminal charges. You might even be surprised to learn that over-the-counter medications could also cause you to be driving under the influence.
Laws about DUI
Throughout the United States, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.08%. When you obtain your license, you consent to a breath, blood, or urine sample upon being pulled over for suspicion of DUI. According to state laws, like those in California, it is not legal to drive under the influence of substances that may impair your nervous system. This is a vague definition, meaning that even a cough medicine could leave you facing criminal charges.
The difficulty in prosecuting somebody for driving under the influence of prescriptions is that there is no blood concentration percentage associated with impairment for these substances. There is no specific measurement for somebody to determine whether the driver is physically impaired. This may work well for the attorney defending you, allowing your criminal lawyer to argue that you were not impaired and that the arresting officer simply had it wrong.
On the other hand, this could also work against you. If there is evidence that you have a prescription for the substance and you have admitted to taking it, you may have quite a case against you. It is important that you talk to your lawyer about your options if this is the case. They can help build a better defense when they understand all the details.
Take Steps to Ensure You Are Safe
Every time you get in the car after taking your medication, it is important that you take an assessment of yourself. Are you driving safely? Are you impaired? Even if you have not been drinking or using illicit drugs, you are responsible for ensuring that you are not impaired in any way.
A Criminal Attorney Can Help You
Criminal attorneys, like LaCross & Murphy, PLLC, understand the necessity of dealing with DUI charges right away. Attorneys have a variety of resources at their disposal, including deep insight into the law. If you are arrested based on suspicion of DUI caused by a prescription medication, contact a knowledgeable criminal lawyer with experience in this area.
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