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Can You Be Arrested for a DUI by Taking Prescribed Medications?

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Can You Be Arrested for a DUI by Taking Prescribed Medications?

The answer, in most cases, is: it depends. Many times, the folks I see in my practice—people who are driving and get arrested in a jurisdiction—will take prescribed medication such as Xanax or other controlled substances which may affect their central nervous system. If you’ve taken that prescription for a long period of time, usually, the affect on your central nervous system is less opposed to if it’s the first time you have taken it; however, most states will allow the government to convict you of DUI, if the Government can show you were driving and under the influence of a controlled substance—to the effect your faculties were impaired: your ability to walk, talk, judge distances—drive a motor vehicle. So that means if you’ve taken a prescribed medication, such as Xanax for example. You may take that medication, drive, and then become impaired by that medication. If the Government can show that you’re impaired by a controlled substance, and it affected your ability to drive, and they show the presence of the substance in your system at the time you were driving, it may lead to a conviction; however, if you have taken that substance for a long period of time, consult with your doctor and give that information to your lawyer because the longer you have taken that medication, the less affect it has on your central nervous system and you may be somewhat immune to the effects of your abilities to walk, talk, and judge distances.

If you were taking a controlled medication as you were prescribed and are arrested for a DUI, get that information to your lawyer. Get the information from your doctor; get that information about your prescription to your lawyer, so he or she may be able to provide a good defense in your case. 

J. Kevin Hayslett

Kevin Hayslett, Esq.

J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.