Criminal Law Blog
Prescription Drugs DUI
November 22, 2017
Let’s talk straight for a minute. As we get through Thanksgiving and closer to Christmas, the amount of substances entering our body dramatically increases. Of course we’re talking about ham, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, but also beer, red wine, shots of whiskey and champagne for any celebratory event. It’s not rocket science to know that when alcohol consumption goes up, DUI and DWI charges increase as well. But what if we told you that you could be charged with a crime without ever having taken a sip of alcohol?
It’s true. Any substance that impairs your motor skills can land you a hefty fine and jail time. You may be thinking, “well of course marijuana could give me a DWI,” but we’re not talking today about illegal drugs. We’re talking about perfectly legal, heavily used prescription drugs.
Open your medicine cabinet and there’s a chance you may find a common culprit of DWI’s: Xanax. According to DrugAbuse.com, over 47 million Americans were prescribed Xanax in 2011, and the number has continued to climb each year after. Don’t get us wrong - Xanax in and of itself is not the problem here. It has been a wonderful tool to help ease anxiety in millions of Americans. The problem comes with high doses, cocktails of multiple prescription drugs or forgetting about your prescription and drinking that glass of wine during holiday festivities.
Police officers are trained in drug recognition protocol, since they can’t simply use a Breathalyzer test as they can in situations involving alcohol. The problem is, there is no exact level of cut-off in this test, so an officer will be the one to decide if the person seemed “too impaired” or not. As you can imagine, there are a ton of issues with this. It is always a tough call for law enforcement and there are a multitude of considerations they must make, including dosage, the medical condition itself, side effects, and the nature of why you were pulled over in the first place.
Here’s the thing – you have to be knowledgeable about how prescription drugs (and mixtures of them) hinder your motor skills and ability to have a clear mind behind the wheel. We’ll throw in another curveball by saying that a DUI can happen as a result of ANY drug that affects you, including over the counter cough medicines, muscle relaxers and antihistamines that cause drowsiness (although most now do not).
If you are charged with prescription drugs DUI then you need a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the legal process. For a free, confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Daniel & Hudson at 210-222-2297. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.