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Avoiding DUI Charges When Using Prescription Drugs

Posted on in DUI

San Jose prescription drugs DUI attorney, DUI charges, drunk driving, prescription drug DUI, impaired drivingWhile most people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, they may not realize that charges of driving under the influence (DUI) can result from the use of prescription drugs. This issue has grown in prevalence in recent years, with California’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reporting that 38 percent of the drivers who died in car accidents in 2014 tested positive for legal or illegal drugs. As a result, police officers are becoming more vigilant toward possible impairment, and drivers should be aware of their rights when facing potential DUI charges related to prescription drugs.

Prescription Drug DUI

Studies performed by the National Institute of Health have shown that the use of drugs that can potentially lead to impaired driving has increased in the past 15 years throughout the United States. These drugs include both over-the-counter and prescription medications such as anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, sleep aids, stimulants, and allergy medications.

While many of these drugs do not impair a person’s ability to drive safely on his or her own, impairment can result when they are combined with other drugs or alcohol. Following the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in California, drivers should be aware of how their use of marijuana in combination with prescription drugs will affect their ability to safely operate a vehicle.

The OTS recommends checking the label of medications for mentions that people should not drive or operate machinery after using these drugs, and they should also speak to their doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects. When use of legal drugs results in a driver being unable to drive safely, they may be arrested and charged with DUI.

Defending Against DUI Charges

While drivers can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .08 percent, there is no specific legal limit for impairment by prescription drugs or marijuana. If a police officer believes a driver is impaired by prescription drugs, their decision to make an arrest will be based on subjective factors, such as observations of a driver’s behavior and field sobriety tests.

When facing DUI charges related to the use of prescription drugs, it is essential to have a skilled attorney on your side to defend you against the allegations that you were driving while impaired. Possible defenses may include contesting the validity of field sobriety tests, arguing that there was no probable cause to make an arrest, or demonstrating that blood test results did not show that you were impaired. The Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson can provide you with the defense you need to avoid a DUI conviction. Contact our San Jose prescription drugs DUI attorney today at 408-246-3004 to schedule a free consultation.


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