Avoiding DUI Convictions for Medication

A DUI charge isn't fully about what was used to become impaired; it's more about the way the substance affected you. To law enforcement, driving under the influence (DUI) charges are based on your behavior, your driving habits, probable cause, and more. If you are suspected of being under the influence of any substance, legal or not, the charges are generally harsh. Even legally-prescribed medications can impair some drivers enough to come to the attention of law enforcement. Read on to find out more about avoiding medication-related DUI convictions.

Impaired Driving vs. Drunk Driving

In most states, there is no differentiation between impaired driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. It might be called driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, but they both mean basically the same thing. The impairment might be caused by alcohol, illegal pain medications, marijuana, legally-prescribed Xanax, or other anti-anxiety medications. If the substance is thought to have caused you to be impaired, you can be charged with a DUI or DWI. That means you can suffer from the same harsh penalties if you were judged to be impaired by prescription pain killers as someone swigging down a pint of vodka.

Challenging a DUI Arrest

What's important to keep in mind after a DUI arrest is to keep that arrest from turning into a conviction. DUI cases can be complicated and technical – filled with all sorts of test results and field testing events. These have to be performed in a very precise manner, or the charges may not stand up in court. That's also why it's smart to hire a criminal attorney who practices DUI defense law. Nearly every aspect of the stop and arrest can be challenged using a good defense attorney. Take a look at just a few common problem areas with DUI arrests that could help you get your charges dropped.

  • Reasonable cause for the stop – You cannot be stopped because the officer was bored or curious. There must be a legal reason to make the stop.
  • In the driver's seat – If you were parked at the time of the arrest, check the laws. In some states, you cannot be guilty of DUI if you were not moving, did not have the keys in the ignition, etc.
  • Perfect roadside sobriety tests – The officer performing the tests must be trained and certified, and the test has to be recorded by the dash-cam of the cruiser. These tests can be challenging for those with physical difficulties or neurological problems. The roadside environment can be tricky too.
  • Miranda Rights – If you are not read your rights by the officer, no legal arrest is possible.

If your arrest won't stand, your name could be cleared. Speak to a criminal defense attorney to find out more.