When you think of a DUI, the first thing that comes to mind is someone who is driving drunk. However, you could face DUI charges for driving while taking a prescription medication. This is true even if you have a legal prescription and are taking the medication as directed.
Georgia law does not expressly prohibit driving while on prescription medication. However, the law does prohibit driving under the influence. If you appear to be impaired, a police officer may place you under arrest.
Was your driving unsafe?
If you’re charged with a DUI for taking prescription drugs, the state will attempt to prove that the drug made you unsafe or less safe to drive. Often, this determination comes down to a judgment call made by the officer who pulled you over.
If the officer observed you weaving, suddenly accelerating or decelerating, or otherwise driving recklessly, that would provide them with enough reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If you show signs of impairment, it’s probably enough for the officer to take you in.
Things become more complicated if you’d consumed any amount of alcohol while taking a prescription medication. It’s believed that alcohol can intensify the effects of most prescription medications. You could be charged with a DUI, even if your blood alcohol level is well within the legal limit for driving.
Unlike drunk driving charges, there’s no legal limit for the amount of prescription drugs in your bloodstream. Prescription DUI cases are primarily built on the subjective observations of law enforcement. You still have rights and the ability to defend against these types of charges. You should discuss your options with a skilled legal professional.