Prescription Drugs Can Land You in Jail for DUI

prescription drugs cause DUI

Have you ever taken a prescription with one of those labels about “using care” when operating a car or machinery? Did you still get behind the wheel?

You may have been risking a DUI arrest.

It’s true. A Culpeper driver was recently found guilty of a DUI for legal, prescription drugs. That’s not a rare situation.

Virginia law prohibits operating a vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs of any kind. Most people think that means illegal drugs, like marijuana. But it includes ALL drugs that could impair your ability to drive safely.

Think about it: a heavy duty narcotic painkiller can make you drowsy and slow your reaction times. Isn’t that the same thing that too much alcohol does? They’re both legal for you to consume, but they can both affect your ability to drive safely. Thus, either one can get you in trouble for DUI.

The key with prescriptions is to NOT drive until you KNOW how your body will react with the prescription. And even then, still use extreme care.

Just because you’ve taken a medicine for a couple days and feel like you’re ok, that doesn’t mean that you are necessarily safe to drive. You should definitely consult with your doctor and/or pharmacist about how the medication might affect you.

What happens in many of these cases is something like a minor fender bender. The police arrive and find the driver a little slow or lethargic. They ask about alcohol, drugs, and medications. Then they find out the driver is on prescriptions that have a machinery warning label. The driver is asked to do field sobriety tests, gets arrested, and their blood is drawn. You know how the rest goes…

Be careful! Prescription drugs require a prescription precisely because they have powerful effects on our bodies. Don’t think that you can’t get a DUI simply because it’s a prescription.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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