Can I get a DUI while on prescribed medication? 66 Answers as of June 25, 2013

I was stopped with no apparent reason. I was given DUI due to failed road test. I couldn't stand on one leg only due to disability, then changed to DUI when it was found I was taking prescribed medication for pain. I was not impaired or drowsy.

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I would recommend retaining an attorney for this matter. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court may appoint you one at the public's expense. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Only if a person is ultimately convicted or if they plead guilty will they be sentenced. The burden of proof is ultimately on the prosecutor. Questions of fact, i.e., guilt or innocence, are ultimately questions for a judge or jury.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/5/2011
Law Offices of Sean Logue
Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
Yes, you can be charged.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 6/23/2013
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
Is it very possible that the government will charge a person with DUI based on prescribed medications. What you need is a defense attorney who will use this to your advantage. Do not rely on your telling the government as they will likely not drop the charges.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 9/16/2011
Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
It sounds to me as if you might have a good defense to the charge of DWI. I have handled hundreds of these cases in the thirty-three years that I have been practicing law, and I might be able to help you for a reasonable fee.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/15/2011
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
It is possible to get a DUI for prescription medication if it was impairing your ability to operate a motor vehicle. You need to have an experienced DUI handle the matter or at least review the police report for any errors that could get the charges reduced or dismissed. A lot is at stake and it is too complicated and the stakes are too high to go at it alone. A good DUI attorney will more than pay for his services in the amount of money and trouble he can save you in the long run.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    If the prescribed medication substantially impaired your driving and you should have been aware of that fact you can be convicted of driving under the influence of drugs. You will likely need an experienced certified criminal law specialist to convince the DA otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    You can be charged with a DUII for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, but typically, the state has to show some evidence of "being under the influence of a controlled substance." That evidence is often found both through things you may have told the officer but also through a protocol of tests done by a police officer (called a "drug recognition evaluator" or "DRE") who has specialized training in recognizing symptoms of drug-induced impairment. Without the DRE battery of tests or some other evidence of you consuming the prescription controlled substances, they don't have a whole lot to use against you. You should consult an attorney who specializes in DUII defense.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You can be convicted of DUI whether you are impaired by alcohol, drugs, or any substance that may impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The punishment is the same regardless of the substance.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    Unfortunately, you CAN be charged with a DUI based prescription medication even if taken correctly and in the proper dose. Here is the relevant statute.* 46.61.502. Driving under the influence. (Effective until September 1, 2011.) (1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state: (a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or (b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or (c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug. (2) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against a charge of violating this section.* Nevertheless, any DUI charge, particularly one based on prescription drugs, should be aggressively challenged and defended. These cases are much harder the government to prove and impairment based on prescription medication is far more sympathetic to a jury.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Yes, you can be charged, however, there are many defenses to this case. Was blood drawn? What was the driving that caused the stop? There are many questions which need to answered, and these answers evaluated to determine what the best course of action may be in your case. You should hire an attorney who is experienced in this area to review the facts and to advise you. Should you want an appointment, you may contact this office to arrange one, as I have much experience in this area. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You can be charged with DUI even for using prescription drugs, if said drugs appear on a schedule of controlled substances, at least here in the State of illinois. What the outcome will be depends upon what the arresting officer observed concerning your physical demeanor at the time of the stop. I strongly urge you to retain an attorney to represent you, he will know how to gather the evidence compiled by the police, and determine what is the best way to proceed with disposing of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    You can get a dui for pain meds but it is harder for the prosecution to prove it. Some DAs in the past have automatically reduced the charge to a dry reckless. Others go all the way. They have to prove the case on symptoms only because there is no way to measure how much of the drug was in your system like they do with alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Hess & Schubert
    Hess & Schubert | Ted Hess
    Yes, driving under the influence of prescription drugs is most definitely a DUI. You have other issues in your case, however, that could lead to successful outcome. First, a cop cannot stop you for no reason. But, sometimes they do. Go get a copy of the police report or affidavit of warrantless arrest. Second, these cases are hard for the prosecution to prove. If there was no bad driving, the roadside field sobriety test is a somewhat crude method of detecting impairment. And you have a disability that affected your performance on the "roadsides." If you took a blood or urine test, often your sample is not tested for the medication you were taking.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Yes you can get a DUI for prescribed medication. A good lawyer may be able to help you out of that jam.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If you were driving while impared, then yes you can be charged.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    The DUI stands for Driving Under the Influents of any substance that can impair your ability to drive. This includes legal substances such as proscribed medications. You may be charged with a DUI under the facts you stated. However, you may have a good case to have it dismissed, reduced to a lesser charge or not guilty at trial. You need to contact an attorney and go over all the facts to find your best option.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    You obviously can get a DUI for being on prescribed drugs, you already did.The real question is if you can be convicted.If you could dispute the field sobriety tests because of disability, that would be a good start.To convict of DUI for prescribed meds. the prosecutor must show impairment.At the scene a drug impairment officer would need to have observed your actions.Your driving pattern etc, would all be evidence.You probably need a good lawyer, but I feel that you have a good chance of winning.If it has not been 10 days since you got your ticket you need to appeal to the DMV.The instruction are on your ticket.If you do not appeal the DMV will revoke your license regardless of whether or not you are convicted.Do this now.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police can charge you with DWI if they believe your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol,illegal drugs, or prescription drugs. You have a much better chance of beating the case if you are taking medication and have no alcohol in your system. It depends on how bad you do on the field sobriety tests and what you were doing that the officer saw to pull you over. If you were not weaving or driving erratically you should be acquitted at trial.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    You can get a DUI on prescription medication, but the state has to prove that the medication made you incapable of driving safely. They also have to prove that the officer had a valid reason for stopping you. It sounds like you have several defenses.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are criminal attorneys in Augusta, GA. We recommend you hire a lawyer concerning all your rights and options, including potentially contesting this matter. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You could be charged with operating while under the influence of drugs (OUID).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Allan & Summary
    Allan & Summary | Justin Summary
    If the judge or jury believes that you were driving while intoxicated (by alcohol or any other substance) you can get a DWI/DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Technically yes, you may be charged under 1192(4) however you may have some excellent defenses which. Could possibly lead to even a dismissal of this case against you... I'd suggest you hire a good attorney as soon as possible, if you're interested in hiring an attorney contact us at your convenience.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If the medication caused you to be impaired, you could be charged. There would be a defense and you should retain an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law
    Thomas Humphrey, Attorney at Law | Thomas Humphrey
    Yes. You can be charged for DUI if you were under the influence of any intoxicating substance. This can include prescribed medications. However, not all prescribed medications are intoxicating substances. Further, the state has to prove that the substance involved was, in your instance, intoxicating. It is not enough that the medication was in your bloodstream. There has to be evidence that the drug actually affected you. To what extent you "failed" the field sobriety test, will be an important consideration. Also, you will want to know if the State intends to call a Drug Recognition Expert as a witness in your case. Finally, you mentioned that you were stopped for "no apparent reason." The police needs probable cause to pull you over. If there was no legal basis to do so, you can have all evidence collected after the illegal stop suppressed.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Yes, you can be found to be driving while intoxicated based on prescription medications alone, or combined with alcohol. If you were not impaired at all, then you need to fight the case. You will need an expert to testify about your disability as well as the effects of the medications.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes, you can be charged with DUI for driving under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol. It seems the officer believed you were impaired and you will be the one to establish that you were not. A good attorney, experienced in DUIs would be a big asset in this.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    You can be charged and perhaps convicted for driving while impaired with prescription medications. The issue is whether the driver is impaired not whether the substance consumed is legal or illegal.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes, you can be convicted.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If the medication makes it difficult to drive (impairs your driving) then yes you can get a DUI on prescribed medication. See your doctor and an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    Based on the information you have provided the question of whether you were driving under the influence as a result of prescription medication is one of fact that the jury must decide and there is no automatic exemption because the intoxicating agent was prescribed by a doctor. You should consult an attorney skill in DUI defense on this matter.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Yes, you can get charged with (and even convicted for) DUI on prescription medication. However.... drug DUI cases are difficult for the prosecution because there's no magic number (like the 0.08% in alcohol DUI cases) they can point to as a cut-off point. They have to piece it all together to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were under the influence and unable to drive safely. The reason for the stop is another issue. The police must justify why they stopped you. Your attorney may want to look into a motion to suppress the evidence based on an illegal stop. If the stop is ruled invalid, then everything else is thrown out and they have no case. It's time for a lawyer, though. This isn't a do-it-yourself type case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Even if the medication is prescribed, if the intake of the drug caused your ability to operate your vehicle to be compromised, you can be charged. However, if the State cannot prove that the medication affected your ability to drive, then you would be not guilty.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Yes you can. You better consult with an attorney. A DUI is a very serious matter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Yes. If the effects of the prescribed medication make you unsafe to drive you can be charged with a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Offices of Andrew Bouvier-Brown
    Law Offices of Andrew Bouvier-Brown | Andrew J. Bouvier-Brown
    The question of whether you CAN get a DUI under the circumstances, as you've described them, is unfortunately yes. That doesn't mean you are actually guilty of committing the offense, or that you SHOULD get a DUI. Unfortunately, in our justice system, actually innocent people get accused of criminal behavior all the time. However, do not for one second let yourself believe that somehow the prosecuting attorney will believe you, or somehow 'see the light' and decide to drop charges against you. The chances of that happening are almost literally nothing. Unfortunately, your recourse in this situation is to find and hire a good lawyer who will vigorously defend you against the charges. That is an expense to you, which is also unfair, but there isn't much else that can be done about it, unfortunately. Most criminal attorneys, including myself, offer free initial consultations or in-office interviews, with no obligation. Feel free to contact me using the information in my LawQA profile if you would like.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | Melissa Hoffman
    Yes, you can be charged with DUI for prescription medication. There are many things you can do to defend yourself against such a charge such as challenging the validity of the field sobriety test and providing documentation that shows there are no side effects of your medication that would impair your ability to operate a vehicle as well as proof of your disability.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes you can be found guilty of DWI on prescription meds that is why you need a law firm such as ours defending you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Riana Durrett
    A DUI can result from consumption of medication even when it is prescribed, because under N.R.S. 484C.110, any chemical that causes impairment can be the basis for a DUI. If there was no impairment, then that weighs in favor of your case and that fact, along with the other facts mentioned in your question, should be discussed with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    Yes you can. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug. However the D.A. needs to prove your ability to drive was impaired. If he can't do that the case will be thrown out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    These cases can be won if a good DUI attorney is hired. The person needs to know about blood testing and therapeutic levels of pain medications.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    The Revised Code of Washington is crystal clear on this point. The fact that you have been prescribed a medication is no defense for driving under the influence of that medication. Some prosecutors will take a look at your blood test results and give you a break if you were only taking the prescribed therapeutic level of medication. However, if your ability-no driving-but your ability to drive was lessened to "any appreciable degree" because of your prescribed medication, a jury can find you guilty of DUI. As a prosecutor, I was able to obtain a conviction against a man who was prescribed Methadone and drove after taking two doses. His driving was under the speed limit on I-5 and he failed the field tests. The jury wasn't out for very long. The point is this: It is legal to drink; it is legal to take medications but when your ability to drive is lessened to any appreciable degree, it is not legal to drive. I don't know what kind of pain medication it was you had taken, but many if not most pain meds are Central Nervous System Depressants or "CNS depressors." They fall into the same class of chemicals as alcohol, opiates and anesthetics because they all suppress or depress the central nervous system of the brain and nervous systems. What you will need when you go to court, is an experienced DUI defense attorney and a legible copy of your prescription for the prosecutor. You should obtain an alcohol and drug evaluation before court because the Department of Licensing will require one and it telegraphs to the judge and prosecutor that you are taking full responsibility for the situation and addressing any problems you discover. They in return are more likely to agree to lenience when they see by your actions that you are not a threat to the driving public.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    You raise several legal issues that need to be explored properly by your defense attorney. Unless it's a checkpoint, the police cannot stop you for no reason. They also need probable cause to believe you committed a crime before they can arrest you. If they reduced your charge to a driving while ability impaired, then they need to show proof of actual impairment. You may have several strong defenses for a skilled defense attorney to work with. Legal disclaimer: All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It is possible to be convicted of a DUI while on prescription medication if the prosecutor can show that the medication was affecting your ability to safely drive your car. Get the police reports and see what they say, for a start.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Whether you are driving impaired or not is irrelevant to whether the medication is prescribed - plenty of people are DUI on prescription meds. I'm sure the police report states a reason why you were pulled over (if not, that is grounds for dismissal but this is something that rarely happens.) That said, you may have a viable defense. A toxicology report will show the type and amount of drug in your system. If those results are low enough to argue that there was no impairment for you then a good attorney will have a shot at getting you a favorable offer or perhaps even a dismissal. Feel free to call me if you'd like to discuss the details of your case - I have had luck with this type of argument in the past. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Yes, you can be charged with Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) - driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, it is especially important for you to fight this charge if you claim you were not drowsy from the medication. Satisfying the (a) count requires that the defendant was actually impaired for the purposes of driving. This can be established by the consumption of alcohol OR drugs. If the DA cannot prove that you were actually impaired, you could beat your DUI charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    Yes they can charge you with that.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes you can. These are very commonly charged today.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    A DUI can be charged not only for alcohol impairment but also for impairment caused by prescription or illegal drugs.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    Yes, you can be charged with DWI for being under the influence of drugs, including those for which you have a prescription. The officer has to have valid reason for stopping you in the first place (usually a traffic offense) and then must have probable cause to arrest you for DWI (failing a field sobriety test, blood shot eyes, slurred speech, etc.) The fact you were arrested doesn't mean you'll be convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law
    Donahue, Sowa & Magana Attorneys at Law | Glenn M. Sowa
    Surprisingly, yes you can be charged with DUI in Illinois while on prescribed medication. The State must prove that you had prescribed medication in your system (usually through a blood or urine test) and that the amount in your system led to your impairment. A mere admission by you that you took some prescribed medication without corroborative evidence is usually not enough to convict.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Anderson Walsh PLLC
    Anderson Walsh PLLC | STACI LYNN ANDERSON
    You can be charged with DUI for your prescription medication. The state will have to prove that your ability to drive was impaired by that medication. The state will use your performance on the field sobriety tests and the drug test to try to prove that you were impaired. You will need to file pre-trial motions to contest the legality of the stop of your vehicle. If there was no legal reason to stop you, you may be able to get all the evidence suppressed. You will need to talk to a competent defense attorney who can look at the evidence the state has against you to determine how to best proceed with your case.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/20/2012
    Law Offices of David L. Smith
    Law Offices of David L. Smith | David Lee Smith
    It is a factual determination for a jury to make. Whether the medication impaired your ability to safely drive a moter vehicle. What will the officer testify to when observing your driving? Do you have any witnesses? It will all come down to the facts surrounding the driving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    The problem comes down to can you prove that you were not impaired? The law does not require that you prove that however it is going to be your word against the word of the officer. With the proper documentation and an expert witness, you may be able to show that you had some symptoms but you were not impaired.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    An individual can receive a DUI, even if they are only using prescription medication. Some medications come with a warning not to drive or operate machinery. The concern is that the medication will impair an individual's ability to make good decisions, or to execute necessary manual dexterity to drive a vehicle. If the DA is able to prove to a jury a defendant was impaired while driving, even if that impairment came from the use of prescription medication, that defendant can be convicted of a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Unfortunately, DUI has become a simple way for the police tocomply with quotas and for the government to try to change society through enforcement measures alone. The answer is "Yes" they can charge you even if it is a prescriptivedrug you'reusing - if you're ability to drive is impaired to any degree while operating a motor vehicle. Whether a jury will go along with them is another thing. I strongly suggest you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer and fight this charge strenuously. It can often make a big difference.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Yes. You can get a DUI/DWI for alcohol, illegal drugs, prescribed drugs, over the counter medication, or any combination thereof.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    It is not a defense that the medication was prescribed if you were impaired.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    Unfortunately you can get a DUI while on prescription medication. However, and importantly, the prosecutor must prove that you were impaired by the drug. Impairment can be proven by your performance on the field sobriety tests, observations of you and your driving. In your case you have a disability and this immediately brings into question the FSTs. Additionally, the officer must have a lawful reason to actually stop you before proceeding with the investigation. It is imperative you speak to a qualified Drug DUI attorney and get as much documentation you can on your prescriptions and disability.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You can be CHARGED where it appears that you might be under the influence of alcohol or DRUGS while operating a motor vehicle. If you are charged you need to consult with an attorney about your case. I should note that defending against DUI involving the alledged vehicle operation while under the influence of drugs is not so difficult as defending a DUI involving alcohol and a breath test for alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. If the prescription includes a limitation for driving and/or if it is taken in a manner inconsistent with the prescription instructions, it may support a charge for DWI.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It is possible to get charged with a DUI based on prescription medication. I am currently handling 2 cases like that now. The 1 leg stand test can be tough to pass for an athlete under perfect conditions....forget about dealing with the stress of being on the side of the road and getting interrogated by an officer. The fact that you are disabled is a defense to them claiming you didn't pass that test.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You can be charged with VC 23152(a). But remember that drug DUIs are very defensible, because it is very easy to prove alcohol concentration, but very hard to prove drug concentration. So you definitely should not just plead guilty without exploring all your options with a DUI specialist.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of David Baum
    Law Office of David Baum | David M. Baum
    Yes, you definitely can. You should discuss your rights with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Ramsell & Associates LLC
    Ramsell & Associates LLC | Donald Ramsell
    If you are on prescribed medication, the State must prove actual impairment of your ability to drive safely.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/12/2011
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