Most people associate a DUI with drinking and driving, but there are times when the police pull over a driver on suspicion of DUI and the culprit is another substance. In some of these cases the substance in question is not a legal substance, but there are times when a prescription drug can cause “drunk” like symptoms. If you are arrested for DUI and have not been drinking, it is critical that you aggressively defend the charges by showing how other perfectly legal substances can give off the illusion of being intoxicated. Part of your defense should include presenting evidence as to what prescriptions you take, and whether you were aware of the chances the medication may cause impairment. It is also important to demonstrate that you were taking the medication pursuant to doctor’s orders, and in the correct dosage.

Three drugs that mimic alcohol include:

  • Sedatives and other drugs that cause drowsiness.
  • Pain killers, such as Vicodin or Percocet.
  • Some over the counter medication, especially ones that contain a sleep aid.

Unfortunately, even use of a prescription drug can lead to charges of DUI. The key is whether the driver as “impaired”. If you have been prescribed a medication that may have a side effect similar to that of drinking alcohol, it is best not to drive while on the medicine. It is also always a good idea to ask your doctor the possible side effects, and how to counteract those possibilities. In some cases, it may be that you have to take your medicine at a certain time of day, or with food and water. The penalties for DUI will apply to driving while “impaired” by use of a prescription, despite the substance being legally given to you. The problem faced by the prosecution in these types of cases though is how to determine the driver’s alleged level of impairment. Without a BAC over the legal limit, it can be difficult to establish that the driver was impaired. Developing a defense to a DUI where no alcohol was consumed can be made that much more difficult, given the lack of a field sobriety test, but it is not impossible. Call us today to learn more, and allow us to develop a defense strategy that will work for you. Our qualified DUI defense attorneys know how to help.

Allow an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you maintain your driving privileges and keep you behind the wheel of your car. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.