DUI Prescription Drugs
The criminal offense of driving under the influence is not reserved for just alcohol and illegal drugs. Prescription drug DUIs are very common, and occur when the driver is under the influence of a prescription drug (if it’s a controlled substance) to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired. Many people do not know that driving under the influence of a prescribed controlled substance is illegal.
For example, let’s say a doctor prescribes you valium for anxiety on Monday. On Tuesday, you wake up in the morning, and take your prescribed dose and then get behind the wheel to drive to work. An officer pulls you over for speeding. He notices that you’re tired, sluggish and that your speech is slurred. He asks you if you have a taken any drugs or medication, and you honestly tell him that you have taken your prescribed valium. He asks you to do some field sobriety exercises, and is not satisfied with your performance. He arrests you for DUI. You may be asking yourself, how did this happen? I thought that DUIs were reserved for drug addicts and alcoholics, not law abiding citizens taking prescribed medications!
The truth is that valium is one of many controlled substances. If the officer believes that you are under the influence of a controlled substance to the extent your normal faculties are impaired, then he can arrest you for DUI. The fact that the medication was legally prescribed by your doctor is completely irrelevant. Prescription drug DUIs carry the same penalties as DUIs for alcohol or illegal substances. Like DUI charges for alcohol and illegal substances, a prescription drug DUI charge can be defended through fourth amendment challenges, successful cross-examination of the arresting officer, motions in limine and by asserting other legal defenses.
Common Prescription Controlled Substances:
- Codeine – Opiate used for pain relief.
- Oxycodone – Opioid used for pain relief. Percocet.
- Amphetamine – Central nervous system stimulant. Adderall, Dextroamphetamine.
- Alprazolam – Benzodiazepine used for panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Xanax.
- Clonazepam – Benzodiazepine used for seizures, panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Klonopin.
- Diazepam – Benzodiazepine used for anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures. Valium.
If you have been arrested for prescription drug DUI, please do not hesitate to contact one of our skilled
Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers at Bottari & Doyle.