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Can Legally Prescribed Drugs Lead to a DUI?

If you are like most people, you think about alcohol when you hear about a DUI. Others also consider illegal narcotics, but very few consider the use of legal drugs — i.e., prescription or over-the-counter medications — in connection with a DUI charge. The truth is that these drugs can also lead to impaired driving and, ultimately, arrest.

In a DUI or DWI, the typical elements are:

  • Someone drove a vehicle
  • While driving the vehicle, that person was under the influence or intoxicated. That is to say that their ability to drive safely was adversely affected by an alcoholic beverage, a drug or a combination of both.

A person who is found guilty of driving while severely impaired by medication can be arrested and charged in the same way as someone who has consumed alcohol and gotten behind the wheel.

The problem arises with the level of impairment. Currently, the only accepted legal level of impairment involves alcohol. A BAC, or blood alcohol content, of 0.08% is the maximum level in all 50 states. There is currently no test, nor any legal limit, for someone with legal or illegal drugs in their system.

If a police officer suspects that you are, or you have admitted to being, under the influence of a medication, they will use a variety of information to build a case against you. Your driving behavior, exhibited reactions and other factors will be considered in your arrest.

Being arrested for driving under the influence is stressful. If you were arrested for DUI in Atlanta after taking medication and charged with DUI, you need an experienced lawyer like Hawkins Spizman Fortas. We will review the details of your case in your free consultation and advise you of the options you have under current state law. Call our office today or browse our website for more information about how we can assist you.

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