Did you know that you can be charged with a DUI for taking prescription drugs such as Narcotics or Opioids even if they are prescribed to you? Most people think of a DUI being just alcohol intoxication. However, alcohol is just one of the many intoxicating drugs that you can be charged with a DUI for taking. Driving while taking any drug puts you at risk for being pulled over and charged with a DUI.
NASCAR CEO, Brian France, was arrested on DUI and possession of a controlled substance on August 5th. In further investigation, authorities discovered oxycodone pills in his car. No further information has been released as the results from his toxicology screening are being processed. This is not a unique experience as drugged driving occurs daily with the easy access to prescription pills that is seen in our communities.
Drugged driving is becoming a larger problem with a majority of the population being prescribed some sort of medication. There are many drugs both illegal or prescription that have impairing effects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performed several tests looking at drugs their impact on driving performance reactions.
- They concluded that in several DUI cases where the person tested positive for Morphine, a commonly prescribed narcotic for the treatment and management of acute and chronic pain, slow driving, weaving, poor vehicle control, poor coordination, slow response to stimuli, delayed reactions, difficultly following instructions, and falling asleep at the wheel was observed. These are all clear indicators to a police officer that someone is driving when they shouldn't be and therefore will be pulled over.
- Another commonly prescribed pain management pill is Methadone. The study found that just one single dosage of the drug impaired driving abilities as warned on the drug manufacturer label that states that Methadone may impair mental and physical abilities required for tasks such as driving. Someone taking a pain pill after a surgery may feel totally fine at first and think that they are cleared to drive but soon may see the flashing lights behind them as one single pill can inhibit your ability to drive.
Despite the increase in prescription drug misuse, these drugs such as Methadone and Morphine are commonly prescribed to those who have undergone a medical procedure or those older in age. Because of this, many people do not think that the could be charged with driving under the influence while taking a prescription as both things have become part of their daily lives. However, it is extremely possible and becoming more and more common.
The charges and penalties for a DUI whether it be alcohol, illegal drugs or a prescription narcotic are all just as harmful to your record and disruptive to your life. There are few things that you can use as your defense in a drug DUI charge and you cannot use the fact that your doctor prescribed you the medicine as a defense to your charges. It is important to hire an attorney that is familiar with the possible loopholes that occur in the processing of an opioid DUI which can help have the charges against you dropped.