If you are using prescription painkillers, you may feel like you need to continue driving and that your life cannot come to a halt just because you are injured. However, some painkillers can make it very unsafe to drive and you may even be charged with a DUI depending on the state in which you reside. If this happens, you should consider consulting with a DUI lawyer.
The Side Effects of Prescription Medications
Different medications affect patients differently. You will want to familiarize yourself with the common side effects of your prescription medication. Some medications can slow down your reaction time or can even cause you to fall asleep. Other medications can cause you to become so stimulated that you behave erratically and may take unnecessary risks.
Depending on the types of medications you are taking, and whether you have consumed other substances, your medications might interact with each other and cause you to experience even more severe side effects. Therefore, it's important to know what you can and cannot take with your prescription medication.
DUI and Prescription Medications
Many states have a zero-tolerance policy and will not allow you to have any substances in your system that could cause you to become impaired. The officer will try to determine whether you are capable of safely driving the vehicle and will arrest you if they determine that you are under the influence.
In some states, you may need to submit to a test to determine if certain substances are in your body. However, one problem is that different prescription medications can affect drivers differently and the officer is unlikely to be informed about the side effects of every type of prescription medication.
The Role of a DUI Attorney
Your attorney will work closely with an expert witness who is knowledgeable about the specific type of medication you are taking. Then, the expert witness will be able to testify in court about the effects of the drug and your DUI attorney can use this testimony to argue for why you should not be charged with a DUI.
It might be easier than you expect to beat this type of DUI charge because the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were impaired due to the medication. Urine and blood tests are notoriously unreliable and your DUI attorney might be able to successfully cast doubt on the case made by the prosecutor and you might be found not guilty.