Prescription medication has been a hot topic for a few years now as the opioid epidemic continues to ravage America. But what about legal prescription medications? What about prescription medications that your doctor prescribes you and they did so knowing you still had to drive back and forth to work? The issue for many Americans is that they have legal prescription medications and they still need to drive.
Prescription medications often show up in DUI cases, and for many people, it’s difficult to understand how to construct a defense. If you have a legal prescription, you may have an exception to the zero-tolerance provision in Indiana. But, each prescription has different elements, and it’s likely that you’ll need someone who has in-depth knowledge of both DUI cases and prescription medication to handle your case.
Pulled Over Because of Prescription Side Effects?
You absolutely can be pulled over because of prescription side effects. In fact, Indianapolis Police look for the telltale signs of a drunk driver to initiate a pullover. They look for signs such as weaving in and out of a lane, changes in speed, inconsistency and driving behavior, and sudden and unreasonable stops. Over the years experts have identified these driving behaviors as consistent with intoxicated drivers.
Now, the suspicions of a DUI have led to officers identifying distracted driving, but often officers feel pressured to issue a DUI when they make a DUI traffic stop. Technically in Indiana police officers cannot pull over people for suspicion of distracted driving, however, distracted drivers exhibit the same behavior as intoxicated drivers. Inconsistent speed, lane weaving, and unreasonable stopping.
Many drivers in Indiana don’t know about the states and acted driving under the influence of Drug law. Indiana has taken steps to enact a DUID regulation which expands the scope past testing for alcohol and common illegal drugs.
Indiana DUI Laws Regarding Legal Prescription Medication
Regarding prescription medication, Indiana’s drugged driving law encompasses a few requirements. First, the statue must identify that the drug makes the driver incapable of safely driving. Then, the state requires that the drug acknowledged the impairment and cited as under the influence. Finally, the state allows for a zero-tolerance provision.
The exemption to this however is a legal prescription. This can be shown through two quick examples. The first is someone who’s taking prescription medication purchased on the street and doing so recreationally. They are pulled over, test positive for opioids, and face a DUI.
The second example is someone who’s taken Prednisone after experiencing an allergic reaction to a known allergy. They have a prescription. But, after the prednisone doesn’t seem to be working, they jump in the car to head to urgent care or the emergency room. They’re pulled over and explain they’re having an allergic reaction which could become a medical emergency, but it typically wouldn’t justify calling 911. That person would likely not face a DUI.
Can You Take Your Prescription Medication and Drive?
Each prescription medication with different recommendations and restrictions. It is possible that the side effects of the prescription may make it impossible to drive safely. In that instance, you should not be driving for any reason. However, there are prescriptions which are generally safe to use when driving or if time to appropriately.
What you need to do if you’re facing a DUI is dive deep into your prescription, the insert for the drug, and talk with your doctor about the drugs possible side effects. These bits of information can be valuable in your DUI defense.
Rathburn Law – Local Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
If you were pulled over for DUI but did not have anything to drink before getting behind the wheel, contact Rathburn law. Your local Indianapolis a drunk driving defense attorney has seen it all. Arrest and charges filed for driving below the legal limit, improperly handled BAC testing, and even DUI charges for legal prescription medications. We understand that if you had a legal prescription medication and got behind the wheel that that is not the same thing as a DUI.
Contact Rathburn law to explore exactly what options you have in your DUI defense. In Indianapolis, there are exceptions to some policies especially when they involve prescription medication. Some prescription medication does warn that a person should not drive. But, if that person was also denied benefits or the opportunity to have reasonable accommodation, then what choice did they have? Contact Rathburn Law now and learn about prescription DUI defenses.