Many Greenville drivers mistakenly believe driving under the influence of prescription drugs is legal. However, this is not true. In fact, many drivers relying on this assumption end up needing the services of Greenville DUI lawyers.
Owning some drugs legally does not justify putting lives and property at risk. Many prescription drugs have side effects. They compromise the patient’s ability to focus, speak, or react in time. Hence turning drivers into traffic hazards.
The general definition of prescription drugs is pills or treatments only available through doctors’ prescription. They rely on strong substances which have side effects and impact your driving abilities. Their leaflets mention all their side effects and caution users not to take them and drive.
When prescribed a drug, patients have the obligation to read the leaflet and check for side effects. Therefore, claiming that you were not aware of the side effects will not help. Neither will blaming the doctor. Only consulting a DUI lawyer will, and it is important to do so as soon as possible. It is the best way to avoid unwanted consequences.
SC Code § 56-5-2930 prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including prescription ones. It establishes clear and severe penalties for doing so. If you violate this law, your future will depend on how Greenville police officers and DUI attorneys do their job.
The penalties for drugged driving are considerable. They reach fines of thousands of dollars, years of jail time, and permanent license revocation. Just imagine keeping your job with a criminal conviction on record, or finding a new one. Can you be sure your friends or loved ones will remain on your side? What will come out of your social, personal, and professional life?
The ideal solution is to avoid driving under the influence of prescription drugs. If it is too late for that, you need one of the best DUI lawyers in Greenville because they are the only ones who can help you fight charges and avoid penalties. If you are not sure the services are worth the cost, take a look at the penalties you risk:
Before you can receive your sentence, you will also have to put up with a court trial. Having a jury look at you as if you were about to kill people is not easy. Court trials also take time and cost money. Add to that the need to complete a drugs rehabilitation program and you begin to understand the stake. The costs of the program will be on you, and they can reach $2,500.
Why take such chances when you can defend your interests with the help of a DUI lawyer?
The latter will guide you through the formalities and advise you on how to deal with the police officers. They will teach you what to say and do on the roadside and during the police questioning. We will cover the basics in the following lines.
If the police officers stopped you at a checkpoint and you know you have taken prescription drugs, cooperate. Answer questions as briefly and as honestly as you can. Follow instructions. A police officer certified as an expert in drug recognition may examine you. If they notice signs of impairment, they will request a field sobriety test. It is the only roadside test that may prove driving under the influence of prescription drugs. You can certainly refuse to take it without facing any penalties, so always say “no”.
If they notice any speech, focus, or movement impairments, the police officers will request blood or urine tests. These are not so easy to refuse. South Carolina laws follow the principle of implied consent. This means that, if you refuse, your driving license will face suspension for 6 months.
It may seem a small price to pay compared to a prison sentence. However, experienced DUI attorneys often help their clients keep their license and avoid conviction. They have their own strategies and tricks to fight charges.
If a driver’s tests for prescription drugs turn positive, the prosecution has to prove the cause of the impairment. The leaflets of the drugs may help. However, they only list potential side effects. They do not guarantee that all drivers will react the same way. Even if you did, the prosecution will have to prove it. You are the only one able to measure the side effects.
Moreover, blood and urine tests have to follow strict protocols. The personnel taking them need to comply with strict procedures. Experienced DUI lawyers easily find mistakes and inconsistencies. It is enough to render the tests inconclusive. The law stipulates a time window of three hours for blood and urine tests, which means your case may be already won. Even if the test results stand, your case is far from over. Police officers make mistakes too. They pull drivers over without probable cause, forget to read rights, and record the roadside interaction. Also they make mistakes when filling in the arrest paper. An experienced DUI lawyer will catch even the smallest mistakes and use them in your favor. All you have to do is give them a chance.
Are you facing charges for driving under the influence of prescription drugs in Greenville, SC? Call us at 803.888.40.38 and let one of our DUI lawyers review your case for free! You will know exactly where you stand and what options you have. If you agree, we will work together to win your case and protect your driving license!