It is illegal to drive under the influence of prescription drugs if they have an impairing effect on you. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) explains that law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania work to identify and arrest motorists who are impaired by drugs, including but not limited to prescription drugs.
However, being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of prescription drugs does not mean that you will be convicted. A lawyer can defend you from a DUI charge stemming from alleged prescription drug use.
A DUI Charge Is Not a DUI Conviction
In the case of alcohol impairment, a police officer may administer a Breathalyzer test, which can measure a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Such a test does not exist for prescription drugs. As a result, the case against you if you were charged with DUI related to prescription drugs may be far from airtight.
While it is illegal to drive under the influence of prescription drugs in a way that impairs you as a driver, you may not have been so impaired by prescription drugs at the time of your arrest.
It is important to remember that, while you may have been charged with DUI, you have not been convicted. A lawyer will defend you and try to ensure that your charge does not result in a conviction.
Certain Drugs Can Be Essential to Your Health
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that several types of drugs could have an impairing effect on a driver. These include:
- Medications used to promote sleep
- Cold and flu medicines
While they could cause side effects, these sorts of medications can be essential to your health. Therefore, you may have been arrested because you took one or more medications that you needed to function normally, including a prescription drug.
You may take prescription drugs for:
- Pain reduction or prevention
- Managing symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Managing symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Managing digestive problems
- Managing allergy-related symptoms
There are many possible reasons why you may take prescription drugs, and taking a prescription drug does not mean that you are too impaired to drive. A lawyer will consider all relevant facts when defending you from a charge of DUI related to prescription drug use.
The Threshold for Proving Prescription Drug DUI
The case that you were driving under the influence of prescription drugs may be based on a few different criteria. Those who may try to convict you could cite:
- A blood test showing that you had a certain prescription drug in your system
- Accounts from a law enforcement officer regarding the way you were driving
- Accounts from a law enforcement officer regarding any field sobriety test that you underwent
These may be features of the case against you, but they do not guarantee a conviction by any means. Simply having a prescription drug in your system, for example, is not alone enough to guarantee a conviction. After all, you may have been prescribed the drug legally by a medical professional.
Those seeking to convict you may need to prove that your use of a prescription drug directly caused you to drive dangerously. This may be a difficult point to prove, and your lawyer can argue against such a case.
A Lawyer Can Defend You from a Prescription Drug DUI Charge
A lawyer can defend you against the charges that you face. They may complete the following duties as your attorney.
Reviewing Any Evidence Against You
Your lawyer will become familiar with any blood tests, video footage, law enforcement officer accounts, and any other evidence that may be used against you. The presence and strength of such evidence could be central to how your lawyer defends you.
Communicating with Those Who Are Arguing Against You
It may be crucial for your lawyer to communicate with prosecutors, judges, and any other parties who are arguing against you. They may offer a plea agreement, which could be a potential resolution to your case (though your lawyer will aim for a dismissal).
Seeking a Positive Outcome to Your Case
Your lawyer will do everything within their power to secure a dismissal of your case. Even if they cannot have your case dismissed, they will seek the best possible outcome for your case.
Call the Team for a Defense Lawyer Today
A charge of driving under the influence carries daunting legal consequences, and a lawyer will work to help you avoid a conviction. Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 991-7219 to complete a free consultation about how we may defend you from a DUI charge.