DUI – Medications
Legal Medications Can Get You A DUI
Whenever people encounter the term “DUI” or driving under the influence, the first thing that readily enters their mind is “drunk driving.” While it’s true that most DUIs involve alcohol intoxication on the part of the driver, a DUI isn’t just about alcohol. You can get pulled over for a DUI for drugs and other substances as well. And we’re not just talking about illicit drugs like cocaine or heroin. Even legal medications for which you have a prescription can get you in trouble if you have them in your system while driving.
Why legal drugs can get you arrested for DUI
Most DUI laws revolve around the possible impairment of a driver’s ability to drive a vehicle safely. Alcohol and illicit drugs are known for their physical and psychological effects on a person. The same, however, applies to prescription drugs.
Most legal medications have side effects which could affect your coordination and motor skills, among other things. For this reason, DUI laws state that even legal drugs can be enough reason to book you for a DUI, even when you have a prescription for them, and you take only the prescribed dosage.
Which legal drugs are seen as sources of impairment?
Technically, any medication in your system is fair game for law enforcement. However, they wouldn’t be trying to find something as common as aspirin in your bloodstream. What they will be looking for are medications with active ingredients that could cause impairment, such as:
- Prescription painkillers
- Anxiety medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Cough syrup
- Nighttime cold or flu medicine
- Any drug that causes drowsiness or lightheadedness
The laws on DUI prescription drugs Arizona is implementing exempt no one. So if you’re taking Xanax, for example, Xanax DUI Arizona laws are going to apply to you if the cops pull you over and find out you have it in your system while driving.
Drivers caught with marijuana in their system may also DUI face charges. Now you may defend yourself by saying you have a prescription for medical marijuana. That, however, wouldn’t matter, because the effects of marijuana on the brain, nervous system, or muscles are quite known, and therefore fall under the coverage of most DUI laws.
Police can detect drug impairment
When a cop pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, the initial assumption is that you might be drunk. However, once it’s established that you don’t have alcohol in your system, the focus shifts to determining if you are under the influence of drugs, both legal and illegal. For this, police have drug recognition experts or DREs, who are cops specially trained to pinpoint signs of drug impairment through the driver’s behavior, eye movements, speech, and other cues.
The “Per Se” laws in Arizona
In Arizona, anyone can be charged with a DUI for drugged driving by virtue of its “per se” laws. As long as authorities establish that your system has any detectable trace of legal or illegal drugs in it, you can be charged with a DUI.
Medications-related DUI Penalties in Arizona
The penalties for an alcohol DUI and a DUI on prescription medication in Arizona are basically the same. The following are the penalties for drugged driving in the state:
- $1,800 fine
- Jail sentence of 10 to 180 days
- Possible 90-day driver’s license suspension
- Community service
- Probation of up to five years
- Join substance screening and education programs
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock device for one year
- Jail for 90 to 180 days
- About $3,500 in fines
- 1-year driver’s license revocation
- Probation for up to five years
- Minimum of 30 hours of community service
- Substance abuse evaluation and education
- Use of Ignition Interlock Device for one year
- At least four months in prison
- Fines of up to $150,000
- Five-year probation
- Use of Ignition Interlock device for one year
- 3-year license revocation
- Seizure of vehicle
If the third offense was committed within seven years of a prior DUI or driving with a suspended license, the driver will be charged with a Class Four felony, which carries more severe consequences.
Compared to alcohol intoxication, establishing the level of impairment at any given time due to legal medications is so much trickier to determine and prove. So if you ever find yourself charged with violating the prescription drug DUI laws Arizona is enforcing, you can count on the skilled and experienced DUI attorneys of the Arizona DUI Team. Contact them now, and you can help them prepare an effective defense for your case.
A DUI Client
Thanks to you, we won the case (all charges were dismissed). Without you I could do nothing. You were updating me at every step; texting and emailing me, and reducing my stress. The whole case was dismissed, from the MVD hearing to the court, and the attorney fees were very reasonable.
Winning was a result of the expertise and diligence you displayed in the courtroom at trial. Me and my family will forever be thankful for your efforts.
You represented me on an extremely complex and difficult aggrevated DUI Case and not only kept me out of jail but also was very compassionate and understanding through the whole process. There was never a time when i felt like you weren’t just as invested in my case as I was. I would absolutely recommend you to anyone facing this difficult process.
You were professional and attentive to my legal needs on my DUI charge. You were able to get the case dismissed and continued to be hands on afterwards to tie up all remaining legal matters. I am extremely grateful for your representation and can not thank you enough.
I had a public defender helping me out with my third DUI. There was some issues with my case, and she recommended me to you when you introduced yourself to me n my mom. You were nice n polite, and read my case file. i asked you a few question you answered my question with very positive feed back. i liked your positive attitude and the way your handled my case I would definitely recommend you to any one who needs a DUI lawyer. thanks again for helping me out with my case.
I had been issued a public defender for my third dui within 7 years. The PD recommended you to defend my case. You were very professional, personable, and importantly, available when I needed to talk to you. I was looking at very gruesome sentence and fines etc. You managed to get me the best possible plea I could see imaginable. When it came time to sentencing you were able to get me less time in jail and my fines to a bare minimum. (The best case scenario of my plea) I would highly recommend you to anyone with a Dui. You are even keeping in touch to make sure my undesignated felony will be designated a misdemeanor after I complete my probation. If I have any questions you are still always glad to answer and help out.
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You was very helpful on my Extreme DUI case. I had lots of questions and you provided timely complete answers to help me explore all options possible, You were able to decrease my fees and jail time, which was great since summer time in tent city would have been horrible. I would definitely recommend you.
My experience was hell until I had the pleasure speaking with you. You know the law and everything there is in out and in between the court system. So much I have learned from you compared to all of the other lawyers I have had in the past. There are a couple more things to do with my case like bringing my case from felony to a misdemeanor that you will take care of for me when my probation is finished. I was to do a lot more probation, jail time, and pay more fines that I actually ended up with due to your work on my case. I am so very grateful that I had the privilege to work with such a knowledgeable lawyer for once. You turned everything to my side in the court, and the way it ended was un-heard-of.
A DUI Client
Thank you so very much for your awesome help in getting my case dismissed. You are an amazing attorney. From the moment I spoke with you, I knew I could rely on you to resolve my case. You advocated for me in the most excellent way. You are the most professional lawyer, respectful, skilled, and knowledgeable. I cannot say enough about you. Thank you! God bless you.
You were the best decision I could have made after being arrested for Extreme DUI. The verdict for my case was NOT GUILTY. You were persistent, knowledgeable and hard working. You cared about me and my family. I have and would always recommend you to anyone who has a DUI.
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My DUI case had literally been pending for years. I had gone through a few different lawyers, who would only push the plea agreement, and continue the case. I then had you represent me. Within a few weeks, you wrote a motion that convinced the prosecutor to completely dismiss the case against me. I can now move forward with my life. Thank you.
My son was charged with an extreme DUI, among other charges. I was very concerned that his reckless decisions would keep him behind bars for a very long time and destroy his life! You were referred to us, and were an invaluable attorney and compassionate person who was always available to explain what was happening and what to expect.
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You represented me for a DUI case, and came highly recommended by several other attorneys. From the moment I meet with you, till even after my case was closed, you had always been upfront and honest, and explained every option that you felt was appropriate for my case. I have and always would refer his services to anyone I know that has gotten a DUI. You are the best attorney that someone can have on their side.
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I had a public defenter helping me out with my third DUI there was some issues with my case that she recomented me to Brian when he introduce him self to me n my mom he was nice n polite he read my case file. i asked him a few question he answer my question with very possitive feed back. i liked the way he was possitive attidude n the way he handle my case i would defenly recomment him to any one who needs a dui lawyer. thanks again for helping me out with my case.
You successfully fought my DUI charge and did so while keeping me in the loop every step of the way. I would recommend you to anyone else.
I was arrested for an Aggravated DUI. I originally went with a public defender that got me a plea agreement of four months in jail and a class six designated felony. My mother looked up criminal DUI attorneys and you were the first one we had a consultation with.
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Brian Sloan represented me on an extremely complex and difficult aggrevated DUI Case and not only kept me out of jail but also was very compassionate and understanding through the whole process. There was never a time when i felt like he wasn’t just as invested in my case as I was. I would absolutely recommend Mr. Sloan to anyone facing this difficult process.
I wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you and your DUI Team for all you have done helping me navigate through the court system. You reduced the charges and fines and got the jail date set allowing me to do keep my job. Again my deepest thanks, and I will recommend your services to all my friends and family.
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