It is perfectly natural to assume that driving while under the influence is intended to mean driving while drunk after consuming alcohol. But, what about if you are driving while under the influence of a medication that your doctor has prescribed?
Having a prescription is not a defense to a DUI charge. Medications come with the warnings that a drug may cause drowsiness, and, depending up the drug, the advice to “not operate machinery” while taking.
There are basically three tests you may be asked to complete if you’re pulled over for DUI. These include the “walk the line” test, the officer will look for “wiggle” in your eyes, and you’ll be asked to stand on one foot. If you fail any of these – even if you haven’t been drinking alcohol but taking prescription meds – you may be arrested for DUI.
Here is an example that is fairly common:
You don’t eat breakfast because you’re running late for work. You take your medication, and head out driving your car. On the way to work, you’re involved in an automobile accident, which it is determined is your fault. You can then be found guilty of driving under the influence, even though you have a prescription for the medication you were taking at the time.
If you are going to be taking prescription medications and driving, you should always keep the prescription bottles with you. If you are pulled over, let the officer know that you have them with you, because if he searches your car, he is going to find them. This may help you should you be charged with DUI and it could affect the outcome of your case.
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