Can I be arrested for DUI when I have a Vicodin prescription? Why? 15 Answers as of May 18, 2015

I was charged with a DUI because I had taken my Vicodin before driving. My driving was not even that bad. I have never had a DUI before. I even have a prescription for the Vicodin but the police did not seem to care. Will I be convicted of DUI even though the prescription is mine?

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
If the Vicodin impaired your ability to drive, you can be charged and convicted for a DUI. This is true even if you have a prescription.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2015
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
If the jury believes the officer's testimony that you were driving impaired, it does not matter whether you were impaired on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or prescription drugs.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/15/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
If the prescription prohibits you from operating vehicles or heavy machinery while taking it, you could still be cited for D.U.I. Since this is your first offense you might be able to qualify for the Accelerated Rehabiliitative Disposition (A.R.D.) Program. If you are accepted your trial is held in abeyance pending your completion of a probationary program. You would pay a fine and court costs, attend alcohol highway safety classes a face a license suspension of between 0 and 60 days, depending on your level of intoxication. You should also retain counsel to help you with this incident.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/15/2015
Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
The violation is the impaired driving. You need to see the police video of your driving in order to decide how to proceed.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/15/2015
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Absolutely you can. What's the difference between that and alcohol?? Alcohol is also legal. You just can't drink and drive impaired. Likewise with Vicodin... you can take it, even legally, BUT you better not be driving if you are impaired. The flyer that the pharmacist gives you specifically states that if you take this medication, you should not operate equipment (this includes a motor vehicle). The fact that you had a legal prescription is NOT a defense.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/15/2015
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    You can be charged. The law makes it illegal to drive while impaired by drugs, doesn't matter what the drug is or if you have a prescription for it. It is easy to charge, but much more difficult to convict of drug DUI. The right lawyer can get a dismissal or reduction depending on the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Best DUI Lawyer
    Best DUI Lawyer | Aniko Hoover
    All the time I am telling clients with medical marijuana licenses that a license to smoke pot is not a license to drive around high! Same thing with Vicodin- if you are driving around under the influence of drugs, even legal ones, you risk being pulled over for a DUI (driving under the influence). If it's mixed with alcohol it's VC 23252(f) or if it's just drugs or perscription drugs it's 23152 (e). Or if the police just don't think you did a good job on the field sobriety test it's 23152 (a). If you take a blood test it can be compared against a chart to see if you are in therapuetic ranges- that match your prescription. You may also notice a warning about driving on your prescription bottle. This is one of those DUI's though, that many times can be pled out as a Wet or Dry reckless.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Yes. It is illegal to drive under the influence of any substance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    The police will attempt to convict you on DUI drugs. They will prove that because you were on Vicodin you were less safe to drive.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/15/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    You might or might not be convicted of OWI, depending on all the facts, and the skill of your lawyer, if you choose to retain one. The lawfulness of your prescription is entirely irrelevant to the question of liability for Operating While Intoxicated. The questions are: Was your driving impaired? Was ingesting the substance the cause of your impaired driving? After all, ingesting beer or brandy is perfectly lawful, but if it impairs your driving you can be penalized for it. Ingesting a prescribed drug is perfectly legal (if you do it in accordance with doctor's instructions), but if it impairs your driving, you are violating the law. You may have defenses, and it's good to consult an experienced lawyer. Keep in mind that a first offence OWI in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense. It is criminal in most other states.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/14/2015
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    You can still be convicted of a DUI even if you have a legal prescription for the medication. They have to prove that you either took it more than you were supposed to or that it impaired your driving ability at least to the slightest degree, meaning a little bit.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/14/2015
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    Yes. The law says you cannot be operating a vehicle when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of both, basis prescription or not. Notice the WARNINGS on prescription bottles regarding driving a car or operating machinery? That's because it can impair you ability to do so. Having a valid prescription will be a defense to unlawfully possessing the drug but not driving while under the influence of it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/14/2015
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    So long as they can prove that your ability to drive was impaired, even to the slightest degree by the Vicodin, you can be convicted. A lawyer can help you prove otherwise. It does not matter if you have prescription. In response to your DUI Post: I am a criminal defense attorney with more than 17 years experience on DUI cases. If you would like to discuss your case, please contact me. Some important information- DMV Issues - If you have been served with a Notice of Revocation, then you have 7 days to request a hearing. Please do that immediately by going to your local DMV office, tell them you got a DUI and you want to request a hearing. They will give you a form. DO NOT REQUEST THE OFFICER. We can do that later if we choose to, but most often it means you will lose. The receipt DMV gives you allows you to drive until the day of the hearing. Request a copy of the Expressed Consent Packet. Evidence Issues - It would be valuable to immediately request all police reports, including all audio and video recordings from dash recorders, lapel recorders and police station recorders from the police agency that arrested you and the prosecution. Include in your written request a statement that you believe the audio and video recordings are ?material and exculpatory.? Make sure you get a copy of your request with the date, signature and name of the person that you give it to. Representation begins when client pays attorney an agreed upon retainer and returns a signed fee agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/14/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, and convicted if they can prove their case. The infraction is due to the impairment of your driving skills caused by an substance. Think about it, alcohol is as legal is your prescription Vicodin. You should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/14/2015
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Absolutely, with VC 23152(a), and the consequences are just as bad as an alcohol DUI. Whether you will be convicted really depends on how good your lawyer is, especially because drug DUIs are difficult to prove. Provided, of course, hat you have a lawyer and he knows what he is doing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/14/2015
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