Drug-Related DUIs Attributed to Prescription Medications
Driving under the influence of legal prescription drugs can still be considered illegal
As more and more people turn to pills and medications to cure their ills, the incidences of prescription drug DUI cases have risen dramatically.
Unfortunately, just because you legally possess a drug that has been prescribed to you, it does not mean you can legally operate a motor vehicle if the drug impairs your ability to drive.
The California Vehicle Code defines a drug as “any substance or combination of substances, other than alcohol, which could so affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his ability to drive a vehicle in the manner that an ordinarily prudent and cautious man, in full possession of his faculties, using reasonable care, would drive a similar vehicle under like conditions.”
You may think that showing a prescription to a police officer or a judge if you are arrested and charged with a drug-related DUI in which you try to attribute poor driving to a prescription medication may be a valid defense. The truth of the matter is that this is not an acceptable legal defense. If you are impaired in any way, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under any circumstances.
And the penalties for a prescription related DUI are just as onerous as they are for any other type of DUI. You face the loss of your driver’s license, significant court fees and fines, possible jail time and a lengthy probation that will follow, and a big bump in your car insurance premiums. When the loss of property, or injuries or deaths to people are involved, all of the above penalties take a big bump upward.
The Linda Louder Law Office proudly serves the residents and businesses of Sacramento and surrounding communities in northern California.