medicine pill tablets spilling from a bottle

Can I Get a DUI for Prescription Drugs?

Brownstein Law Group, P.C. July 26, 2022

In the state of California, drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with a BAC of at least 0.08%. Similar to taking alcohol, a person can become intoxicated from using prescription or over-the-counter medications. However, most police officers lack the necessary training to differentiate between intoxication due to alcohol or illegal drugs and impairment due to prescription medications.

With more than 40 years of combined experience, the skilled team at Brownstein Law Group, P.C. has the diligence, expertise, and resources to guide and represent clients in DUI-related matters. Attorney Josh S. Brownstein and his trusted legal team can educate you about the consequences of driving on prescription drugs and help you navigate crucial decisions in your case.

Even if you're arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), he can outline an effective legal strategy to help fight your drugged driving allegations. As a knowledgeable California criminal defense attorney, he has the resources to fight aggressively to defend your rights and attempt to keep your record clean. The firm proudly represents clients across San Rafael, Novato, Marin County, Petaluma, San Francisco, and throughout California.

DUID for Prescription Drugs

Under California DUID law – California Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC – it is unlawful for an individual who is under the influence of drugs to drive a motor vehicle. Any drug, including prescribed, lawful, or illicit drugs, which impairs a person's ability to drive can result in DUID charges. However, the level of impairment often depends on the amount of prescription or OTC medications taken.

For example, it is not advisable to drive after taking prescription medications such as pain relievers, muscle relaxants, CBD, antidepressants, some antihistamines, or stimulants. Though, these medications are legal in California. However, they may impair your driving ability depending on the dosage. Hence, ensure that you discuss this with your doctor and avoid driving after taking new medications.

Consequences of Driving on Prescription Drugs

Prescription medications affect people in different ways. While some prescription medications won't affect your driving ability, others may cause side effects or reactions which make driving unsafe. Here are some common side-effects of prescription medications:

  • Blur your vision

  • Cause fatigue

  • Cause drowsiness or sleepiness

  • Make you nauseated

  • Increase your heart rate

  • You may experience difficulties in focusing, concentrating, or paying attention.

  • Cause dizziness

  • Cause you to faint

  • Slow down your movement

When you drive, any of these side effects can expose you and other road users to risks. Hence, if you feel a little drowsy, dizzy, stoned, high, or buzzed after taking prescription drugs, you should refrain from driving. A skilled California DUI defense attorney can evaluate the surrounding facts of your case and determine whether you can get a DUID on your prescription medications.

Drugs That Can Get You a DUID

Below are some lawful drugs that can impair your driving ability and eventually result in a DUID:

  • Diet pills and stimulants

  • Products that contain codeine

  • Medicines for controlling or treating diarrhea symptoms

  • Muscle relaxants

  • Prescription medications for anxiety

  • Herbal supplements

  • Anti-seizure drugs

  • Opioids for pain relievers

  • Antidepressants

  • Kombucha tea

  • Sleeping pills

  • Medical marijuana

If you or someone you know has recently been charged with a DUID related to a drug prescribed by a physician, you need to reach out to a reliable criminal defense attorney right away. Your attorney can investigate every last detail of your case, help craft an effective defense strategy to fight your charges, and pursue the most favorable outcome.

Personalized Legal Advocacy on Your Side

A California drugged driving charge can jeopardize your personal reputation, freedom, driving privileges, eligibility for public benefits, professional, and future opportunities. Unfortunately, you can be charged with DUID for driving a vehicle while under the influence of legal drugs, such as over-the-counter and prescription medications. Therefore, when facing DUID charges, it is imperative that you hire a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney for proper guidance and to help build your defense.

Brownstein Law Group, P.C. is committed to offering highly-personalized legal counsel and aggressive representation to clients facing DUID charges for driving on prescription drugs. As your legal counsel, they can review and investigate every aspect of your unique situation thoroughly and help strategize your best defenses to maximize your chances of the best available outcome. Attorney Josh S. Brownstein and his team will attempt to fight vigorously to uphold your rights and make sure those accusations don't ruin your life.

If you've been arrested or indicted for a DUID related to lawful drug use, contact Brownstein Law Group, P.C. today to schedule a simple case assessment. Attorney Josh S. Brownstein can offer you the reliable representation and detailed legal guidance you need in your DUID case. The firm proudly represents clients across San Rafael, Novato, Marin County, Petaluma, San Francisco, and throughout California.