When you are driving while under the influence of a legal drug, you may still be responsible for a DUI. Some legal drugs come with side effects that can inhibit your ability to drive. If you are on a legal prescription, you will need to understand the risks associated so that you can minimize the risk of being charged with a DUI
How You Can Be Charged With A DUI
One example is if you are pulled over by the police. You tell the officer that you normally do not drive as poorly, but that your medication may be affecting your ability to drive, this might be used as an excuse to charge you with a DUI. To be charged with a DUI, you will need to have been driving a vehicle and you will need to be under the influence of a drug that would negatively impair your ability to drive that vehicle.
Depending on the state, the actual drugs that are believed to cause an impairment are sometimes spelled out explicitly. Then, if you are under the influence of them, even with a legal prescription, you could be charged with a DUI.
Proving That You Were Under The Influence
One of the challenges of a prosecutor proving that you were under the influence is to demonstrate that a quantity of the drug was within you that would be enough to cause you to be intoxicated. However, unlike with alcohol, there is no specific percentage of narcotics in the blood that would indicate that you have consumed an intoxicating amount. Therefore, you may be able to argue that your prescription was not a factor that affected your ability to drive. There are many legal prescriptions that only cause impairment if they are not taken as instructed. For example, there are some medications that can cause troubling interactions if combined with other medications.
Avoiding A DUI Conviction
The best way to avoid being pulled over is to pull over if you notice symptoms of your medication that could affect your ability to drive. For instance, if you are struggling to concentrate or if you find yourself swerving, it might be a good time to pull over.
If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, you will want to contact an attorney that is experienced with cases involving the use of legal prescriptions. It is also always helpful to seek the assistance of a pharmacist.