There is more than one way you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Most people know that breathalyzer test result of more than .08% will result in a DUI. But using drugs, including prescription drugs, can also lead to this charge. If you’re driving under the influence of prescription drugs, the police can arrest you. That’s true even if your medication has been prescribed to you by a doctor.
If a police officer suspects you’re driving while impaired, they may arrest you. With no evidence of alcohol use, they may request that you test for drugs. The tests usually involve drawing blood or doing a urine test. The blood or urine samples will be used to check for traces of drugs. Many people aren’t worried about driving while on prescription drugs. They believe that this is legal. But under the law, prescription drugs cause impairment. The effect can be like alcohol or illegal drugs.
Call a DUI lawyer if you’re arrested for driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Remember only to give the information you are required to give. Don’t share any extra details that could incriminate yourself. You can consult more with your DUI attorneys when they arrive.
According to South Carolina law, prescription drugs are drugs only dispensed through official prescription. These drugs can lead to impairment when driving. This is why it is illegal to drive when on them.
It’s impossible to find out if you’re on prescription drugs with a breathalyzer. A blood or urine test is required to do this. The law requires chemical tests, but you have the right to refuse them. However, your driver’s license will be suspended if you deny the tests.
Qualified personnel will administer a blood or urine test. This is to help find drug traces. They may do this at the police station or hospital. You have the right to request that a skilled person of your choosing does the test. However, you will have to cover the costs of the tests yourself.
There is no simple way to measure the amount of drugs in the blood. This means any traces can help convict you. There are other ways to test whether you are on medication. These include a thorough physical exam and the field sobriety tests.
An officer with Drug Recognition Expert Certification can do a physical examination. They will do this to try to prove impairment. They will check whether you have bloodshot eyes, jerking eyes or affected pupils. They’ll check your blood pressure and pulse. If you’re under the influence of prescription drugs, these can be indicators. Your appearance and state may be different from a sober person. Only a qualified officer can quickly identify this.
Field sobriety tests have existed for a long time. They help provide additional backing for any chemical evidence found. The sobriety tests test your concentration. They check your ability to maintain calm and balanced. They are usually 77% accurate, so they are not enough evidence alone.
Due to inconsistent field sobriety test results, you can refuse. You should always refuse them when requested. Also, there are no penalties for refusing to take the tests. The police record test administration. Signs of instability could make the state’s case stronger and lead to harsher sentencing.
It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle while on prescription drugs. However it’s difficult to convict a person of these charges. If you test positive for prescription drugs, the state must prove this caused impairment. Prescription medication can lead to dizziness. Hallucinations and visual impairment are other possible symptoms. But, no one can guarantee that you will experience these effects using these drugs.
Unless the state has evidence of an impaired driver, it’s hard to convict them. This is another reason why you should never accept a field sobriety test. Even simple mistakes can give the police the evidence that they need. Your experienced DUI lawyers can present a case that disputes some of the state’s claims. They may decide it’s best not to dispute the findings of the results. Instead, they may dispute the impairment aspect. DUI attorneys can argue that you weren’t negatively affected by drugs. If they prove this, the DUI charge will not stick.
Your lawyer will check if the police observed your rights during the arrest. Police officers are required to read you your rights about the arrest and tests. If this wasn’t done, the evidence gathered might be ruled inadmissible. Your DUI attorneys will also check whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over. If you weren’t speeding, swerving, or inconsistent, then the evidence may be invalid.
If you have evidence showing you were driving normally, you may get off without sentence. However, this can only be the case if it was your first DUI offense. If it was a second or third offense in ten years, the court may convict you. For a second, third, and fourth charges penalties will increase.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI while on prescription drugs, call us right away. There’s no time like the present to get good representation. Our qualified DUI lawyers will defend for you. Our great team at Kendrick and Leonard will work on your behalf. We’ll know the right questions to ask and the right answers to give you. Don’t try to fight your DUI on your own. Don’t get overwhelmed by your legal situation. We can help, and we’re ready to take on your case. Contact us today.