Driving under the influence is typically associated with alcohol and illegal drugs, but even the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications can lead to an arrest. Like alcohol, these legal drugs can affect your ability to think clearly, slow down your reaction time, blur your vision and make you drowsy—all of which make up a recipe for disaster when driving.
Examples of Legal Drugs
The following are a few of the more popular drugs that may cause impairment while driving: tranquilizers (Vicodin), painkillers (OxyContin), sleep medicine (Ambien), antidepressants (Zoloft), anti-anxiety medication (Xanax), cough medicine (NyQuil), anti-ADHD drugs (Adderall), and anti-addiction medication (Methadone).
In order to be found guilty of DUI in California, a person must either be (1) impaired by alcohol or drugs while driving, or (2) have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of.08. If you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be scrutinized in the same way a drunk driver would.
However, drugged driving charges are a bit more complex because there are no tests that an officer can administer on site, like a breathalyzer. Also, there is no set standard similar to the .08 BAC for measuring the levels of prescription drugs in the body. A single dose of medicine may impair one person, while not affecting another.
Penalties for Drugged Driving
A person arrested for drugged driving in California will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to the same penalties that apply to an alcohol DUI. If you are arrested for a first-offense DUI, you face a suspended license, a DUI program, AA, $390 to $1,000 in fines and anywhere from a few hours to six months in jail.
If the police have arrested you for driving under the influence of prescription medications, call our Fresno DUI defense lawyer at The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch immediately. We can review the facts of your case and provide you with the best defense possible.
Give us a call at (559) 484-2112 or contact us onlinefor a free consultation.