Can I be given a DUI for taking my prescribed medication? 12 Answers as of January 11, 2011

I have a physical disability and permanent placard. I was pulled over for reckless driving. I passed the breathalyzer test at 0 as I don't drink. I passed all roadside tests then taken to the CHP where I passed the rest as I was not impaired. When asked about medications, I informed the officer that I had taken my prescribed medications the day before not that morning. I have been taking these now for 23 years. I was then asked to take a blood or urine test opting for the urine. Later I was convicted for wet and reckless driving for driving on my medication at a level just called "Positive" as these medications have a long half life. I only drive after the time has elapsed for the duration of the prescription to be effective. Not intoxicated can they still arrest me for a minor ticket?

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Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Yes, you can be given a DUI for being on your prescription medication.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/11/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Can you be convicted of a prescription drug DUI, yes you can. Just because a drug is prescribed it does not mean that you are allowed to drive on that medication. Please understand that you did not pass the field sobriety tests. If you had there would never have been additional questions. Additionally the DA cannot charge you with a 23103.5 (wet reckless) directly. It is a reduction and you would have been charged with a 23152(a) driving while under the influence of a drug and you were give a plea offer of a wet reckless VC 23103.5. It appears you already plead guilty to this. Next time prior to any plea deal you should consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
DUI is driving under the influence of ANYTHING that affects ability to drive. You said convicted but I assume you mean arrested and charged. Can they arrest you? Of course.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2011
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
Considering that you already entered a plea to a wet and reckless, your sentence has already been ordered through the court.

Per your question, you can be arrested and prosecuted for DUI on your medication. Be aware the terms and conditions set by the judge. You can be cited, arrested, and prosecuted if you violate the terms and conditions set by the judge.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
You can be arrested on the facts you gave. However, that is not the same as convicted. A good attorney should get a dismissal or a not guilty. You should not have plead.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
    Driving under the influence encompasses all substances than can impair ones ability to drive, including prescription medication. However, in order to convict you of a DUI or wet reckless there must have been sufficient cause for the arrest and subsequent charge and conviction. Feel free to call our office with any further questions regarding your matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, if you plead guilty to it!

    VC 23152(a) addresses under the influence of "drugs." Drug DUI's are generally very defensible (explaining why you were given a WET Reckless), but since you already plead guilty to it, there isn't much you can do at this point.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    To answer, it is possible to get a DUI under 23152(a) for driving under the influence of prescribed drugs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2011
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