Can I be Arrested for Driving While Using Prescription Drugs?

You can be arrested for driving while using a number of prescription drugs.  The following are some common prescription drugs we see drivers arrested for:

  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Oxycodone
  • Methadone
  • Ambien
  • Prozac
  • Valium

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014, around 22% of all drivers were impaired by drugs. Nearly 50% of these drivers were impaired by prescription medications they were taking. While you may be lawfully taking prescriptions drugs for a valid reason, but you can end up with penalties even more severe than if you had been drinking alcohol.

Under Pennsylvania impaired driving laws, police can charge you with drugged driving (also called “DUID”), even if you’re taking a prescription drug under a valid prescription. The rationale behind this is that some of these drugs may cause impairment.

If convicted for a first offense DUID, you can be given:

  • a maximum jail time sentence of up to 6 months
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • 12-month license suspension

If you have a prior DUI conviction or even ARD, the consequences can be even more severe.

If you are accused of a DUID, you should hire an attorney with thorough scientific knowledge because these cases involve a lot of science. With thousands of prescription drugs and various types of reactions you may have to those drugs, you may be affected by them differently.

Below are few questions that must be asked in these cases:

  • Has the driver consuming the medication actually been impaired by it? There must be a concrete connection.
  • How much is the impairment? How can you measure the intoxication?
  • Is the medication the actual cause of impairment or is it due to something other than that such as lack of sleep, allergies, sickness, etc.?
  • What is the time gap between consuming the drug and the alleged impaired driving?

There are many more questions that need to be asked.

When you have the right attorney on your side, it’s difficult for the government to prove these cases. At The McShane Firm, all our attorneys have been trained rigorously, and they know how to defend drugged-driving cases by using scientific knowledge.

Please call 1-866-MCSHANE For free case consultation. We want to help you.

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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