Can I Be Arrested for A DUI in Pennsylvania if I’ve Taken Prescription Medication?
January 10, 2021
You wake up like any other day. You shower, eat your breakfast, take your blood pressure
medication, and head off to work in your car. But something happens, and you feel kind of funny and lightheaded while you drive. Before you know it, you see lights flashing in your rearview. The next thing you know, you are being arrested for DUI, even though you have not had a drop of alcohol.
How a Driver Can Be Arrested for a DUI
A driver is responsible for anything in their system that might impair their driving. This includes illicit drugs and alcohol of course, but also all medications, even those prescribed by a doctor. A doctor may prescribe medications for any number of reasons, but the fact is prescriptions for pain, anxiety, depression and even blood pressure may cause someone to be impaired and considered DUI.
What if a doctor prescribed this medication as daily and you have been taking it for months? Does that affect the case? Unfortunately no. Regardless of how long you have been on the medication, if it causes you to drive impaired, you can be charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, even if you take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribed.
How Can A DUI Defense Lawyer Help Me?
As the laws continue to change regarding prescription medication and DUI, there are many avenues an experienced DUI attorney can go down. Here are some examples:
- Did the prescribing physician explain the risks and effects of the medication? Many times, a doctor may gloss over or completely ignore explaining how a medication should prohibit the user from driving. This is unacceptable and negligent on the part of the physician not to fully explain the risks of the medication.
- Were you actually impaired during while driving? Medications can remain detectable in the blood for days or even weeks after taking it, but often the effects of the medication are much shorter in duration. Additionally, were you pulled over for a legitimate reason? Did the police officer even offer a reason as to why they pulled you over?
- What about a DUI checkpoint? There many ways to invalidate a DUI arrest from this scenario, as Pennsylvania has strict rules for how a DUI checkpoint is setup and carried out.
- Was the equipment used to test for DUI properly calibrated? Was it working properly? When was the last time all the equipment was inspected? Invalidating these results could be key to your case.
- What about the paperwork? Everybody makes mistakes, but sometimes mistakes on paperwork can win or lose a case. Spotting irregularities and other things that may invalidate the paperwork requires skilled attorneys.
A lot of people might think that DUI for prescription medication is not as serious as for alcohol, but they are wrong. In fact, prescription medication DUI is charged at the highest blood-alcohol tier. The punishment includes mandatory jail time, severe fines, and extended loss of license.
Contact an Experienced Erie DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in Pennsylvania
Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in Pennsylvania? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. represent clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Millcreek, Harborcreek, Fairview, Meadville, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (814) 273-2010 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 2525 W. 26th St., Erie, PA 16506, in addition to offices located in Meadville and North East.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.