Prescription for DUI – How the Meds You Take Could Result in Impaired Driving
Don’t Let Your Medications Become a DUI Conviction
Prescription for DUI – How the Meds You Take Could Result in Impaired Driving. You might assume that if a doctor gave it to you, a drug is safe to take before getting behind the wheel. This is not always the case. In California, as in most states, taking legally obtained drugs can result in a driving under the influence (DUI) charge just as easily as illegal drugs or alcohol if it impairs driving ability. The law makes no distinction between illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter medications when it comes to a DUI charge. Before you take any kind of medication and drive, keep these facts in mind:
DUI Laws Apply to Medications
California Vehicle Code Section 23152 states that a person is not permitted to legally operate a vehicle if he or she has taken illegal drugs or drugs that contain alcohol (e.g., cough syrup) in excess, or if he or she is under the influence of prescription medications or over-the-counter medications. It is up to law enforcement to determine whether or not a driver is “under the influence.” A legal prescription or doctor’s orders cannot constitute a DUI defense, even in the hands of the best Orange County DUI Attorney. If an officer has reason to believe a medication has impaired the ability to drive, the officer can make an arrest on suspected DUI.
Prescription for DUI – How the Meds You Take Could Result in Impaired Driving. The penalties for a prescription-drug related DUI are the same as for other DUI convictions. If a blood or urine drug test shows the influence of any drug – legal or illegal – that impaired driving ability, the driver can receive a DUI. Penalties for driving under the influence of a prescription drug in California can include six months imprisonment, thousands of dollars in fines, license restrictions, and mandatory enrollment in drug education courses. In the event you were completely in the dark about the drug’s effects, you may be able to persuade the prosecution to drop or lessen the charges against you.
Common Prescription Drugs Can Impair Driving
Although reading the possible side effects of a medication can help, the drug can affect each person differently. There is no real way to tell how a drug will affect you without taking it and finding out. That being said, it’s always a good idea to test a prescription or over-the-counter drug before administering the substance and driving. There are some drugs you should never take before driving, due to the high risk of drowsiness or impairment. The following drugs will typically contain warnings not to “operate heavy machinery” after taking:
- Cold and allergy medications
- Nerve or muscle relaxants
- Diet pills
- Pep pills
- Any drug taken with alcohol
Prescription for DUI – How the Meds You Take Could Result in Impaired Driving. These medications have a tendency to make drivers drowsy, nervous, dizzy, and unable to concentrate. They can also affect vision. These side effects are dangerous and can easily cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. California police take DUIs very seriously, and are always on the lookout for drivers who may be under the influence. Regardless of whether the drug was legal or illegal, police will issue a DUI if the drug impaired driving. If you cause a crash while under the influence of a prescription drug, you could be liable for civil damages on top of criminal charges. If you are arrested, contact our Orange County DUI Lawyer. Contact us if you need help. But when in doubt, just stay home after taking any medication.