Contrary to popular belief, people can still be arrested for driving while intoxicated even if the drugs they are taking are legally prescribed. A prescription drug DUI carries the same offense that a drug DUI or alcohol-related DUI would, regardless of whether the person was legally prescribed the drug or not. If you have been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, consult a West Palm Beach prescription drug DUI lawyer that can build your case. A skilled drug DUI attorney could work tirelessly in an effort to achieve a positive outcome for you.
Drugs Most Commonly Implicated in DUI Cases
The types of drugs most commonly implicated in DUI drug cases are prescription medications, painkillers, anti-anxiety, benzodiazepines, opiates, and things of that nature. Recreational drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin are also common. Prescription medication and recreational drugs are most often implicated in DUI cases. Often times, there is a combination of alcohol and recreational drugs, alcohol and prescribed medication, or prescribed medication and recreation drugs.
How Legal Drugs Can Still Lead to Drug-Related Impairment Charges
Although a person is prescribed medication, that does not give them the right to drive under the influence of that medication. Most medication impairs a person’s judgment or ability to do things. Medications come with a warning label about operating a vehicle while taking the medication. If any medication impairs the person or lessens their ability to operate a motor vehicle, they can be charged with DUI under the influence of drugs even though they have a valid and lawful prescription.
A prescription gives a person the right to use and possess the medication; it does not give them the right to drive under the influence of the medication while driving. Having a prescription for a medication never makes it legal for someone to drive under the influence of it. It does not matter that someone has a prescription. When someone is under the influence of drugs, they can be charged with a DUI if they are impaired by the drugs while driving. A West Palm Beach prescription drug DUI lawyer can attempt to defend an individual against the impairment charge.
Likelihood of Being Charged With Impairment Over the Counter Medication
It is unlikely that someone is charged for being under the influence of an over-the-counter medication like an allergy medication. If someone takes an antihistamine, for instance, and the antihistamine makes them groggy or sleepy, they might be charged with that.
Take Benadryl for example. Benadryl is not a controlled substance. However, it can affect a person’s ability to drive, especially when mixed with alcohol. If someone is under the influence of over-the-counter drugs to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired due to the addition of alcohol or a controlled substance, they can be charged with a DUI for being under the influence.
Usually, when the authorities do a blood test or a urine test, they are not looking for antihistamines, they are looking for controlled substances, illegal drugs, or recreational drugs. When someone is drinking, allergy medication can further impair them. Driving under the influence of drugs generally involves something else besides over-the-counter allergy medication.
Steps to Take to Avoid Prescription Drug DUI Charges
There are certain steps a West Palm Beach prescription drug DUI lawyer might advise a person to take if they want to avoid the possibility of a prescription DUI charge. If a person has prescription drugs, they should not drive while using them unless absolutely necessary. For example, they are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. The person should be sure to keep the prescribed medication in the prescription bottle.
When they are carrying loose pills, it is difficult to prove that they have a prescription for them. The person can be arrested for possession of that medicine because they cannot prove they have a prescription. First, people should not drive with any illegal drugs. Second, they should keep their medication in the original prescription bottle when they are away from home.
Value of a West Palm Beach Prescription Drug DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, it is imperative that you get in contact with an experienced attorney. Your West Palm Beach prescription drug DUI lawyer could investigate the allegations against you, contest the results of any potential blood tests you may have been subjected to, and can use the information at their disposal to build your defense. It is important to work with an attorney that understands what is at stake and can devote the time and resources to build your case.