Prescription drugs taken legally does not make you immune from a DUI charge if pulled over for impaired driving. Many people are unaware that taking prescription drugs or even over-the-counter medications can bring a DUI charge just as if they were taking illegal drugs or driving under the influence of alcohol. Legally prescribed or taken medications can affect the ability to drive safely and in turn can result in a DUI charge to your driving record.
Prescription Drugs and Impaired Driving
Medications that are prescribed for a medical or psychological issue, or medications that are available over-the-counter can significantly impact safe driving performance. Some common effects on driving include:
- Blurred vision
- Slowed reaction time
- Decreased ability to focus and concentrate
- Syncope or fainting episodes
- Anxiousness, excitability, irritability
- Decreased ability to make good judgments or decisions
- Other unknown side effects that may present in emergency situations
Prescription Drugs DUI-Drugs-Less-Safe Charge
Law enforcement may stop a driver for unsafe or erratic driving. Georgia law makes it clear that being legally entitled to use a drug is not a defense to a DUI-Drugs charge. If a blood test is requested and you refuse the State does not have to prove a certain level of medication in your system to charge you. The State of George may be able to prove its charge with evidence of impairment by:
- Admission to taking the prescription drugs
- Personal appearance (bloodshot eyes, dilated or constricted pupils)
- Slurred speech, or frantic speech
- Erratic driving
- Involvement in having or causing an accident, damage, or injury
- Poor outcome of field sobriety test
- Presence of medications in the vehicle
Prescription Drugs Medication Effects
While standardized levels related to alcohol impairment exist that can be viewed as having legal levels or illegal levels for driving, the same does not exist for use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The effects of a medication vary from person to person and there is no set standard to follow for prescription drug impairment. Law enforcement make their call on charging you with a DUI based on observed ability and performance, verbal admissions, as well as through drug testing (if agreed to).
Prescription Drugs DUI Attorney
Whether your driving was impaired by your medication is a judgment call on the part of the police officer that pulled you over – that call may not be correct. You need quick legal consultation to make sure your rights are protected and charges dismissed or reduced. Call prescription DUI attorney Joel Baskin right away for a confidential assessment of any charges brought against you.