Can You Be Arrested for DUI If You are Using Prescription Drugs?

Years ago, the only people arrested and charged with DUI in South Carolina were people who had been drinking and driving. There wasn’t as big a problem with illegal drug use ten or twenty years ago. And, if someone was under the influence of drugs, it was hard for the police to prove it. They didn’t have the same kinds of testing kits that they have available today. Today, with the opioid epidemic and the problem with methamphetamine use, the cops are a bit more aggressive. If they pull someone over and suspect they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will arrest you for DUI. If they don’t have the proof to support a conviction, then your charges will be reduced or dismissed. It all comes down to whether you have a good DUI defense lawyer.

This is not to say that having a DUI defense lawyer in Greenville will automatically get your charges reduced. The prosecutor isn’t going to agree to reduce or dismiss the charges just because you have a lawyer. There has to be a good reason for them to do this. If you’ve been arrested for DUI based on a suspicion that you’re under the influence of drugs, there’s one way your attorney can work to get the charges dismissed. If they can prove that you had a legal prescription for the medication you were using, there’s a chance the charges will be dismissed. However, this isn’t always the case. Just because you have a prescription, that doesn’t mean you won’t be convicted of DUI in South Carolina.

A Legal Prescription is No Guarantee that Your Charges Will Be Dropped

There are certain medications that can make you drowsy or even incoherent. If you’re prescribed drugs like Xanax or pain pills, they can make it unsafe for you to drive. In fact, when you get your prescription from the pharmacy, there are instructions on the bottle advising you to not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you choose to take these drugs and get behind the wheel, you face the possibility of getting pulled over. If the police feel you can’t operate a car safely, they’ll arrest you for DUI. They don’t care why you’re impaired. They just need to get you off the road.

There may be times when you take too much of your medication and that is why you’re impaired. Maybe you were having a rough day and doubled up on your pain medication at work. On your way home, you start to react to the medication and swerve or drive too slow. If the police notice that you’re driving erratically, they will pull you over. Once they stop your vehicle, they’ll evaluate you to see if you appear intoxicated. If you’ve taken too much pain medicine, the cops will be able to tell. They’re trained on how to notice these things.

Can You Produce a Copy of Your Prescription?

When you go to court, you may need to show the judge a copy of your prescription. If you do have a legal and valid script, the prosecutor may be willing to drop the charges. Or, they may be willing to consider reducing the charges to reckless driving. Your Greenville DUI defense lawyer will negotiate with the State to get the best possible outcome possible. Just keep in mind – there’s never a guarantee that the prosecutor will reduce or dismiss the charges. If they feel that you were truly intoxicated at the time of your arrest, they won’t care that you have a valid prescription.

Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina

If you take prescription medications, there’s a chance that they can cause you to be impaired. If you get pulled over in Greenville and the police believe you’re impaired, you will be arrested and charged with DUI. If you fail a field sobriety test, the police will put the cuffs on now and ask questions later. Just because you have a legal prescription is no guarantee that the charges will be dropped. This is why you need to call an experienced DUI defense lawyer in South Carolina as soon as you’ve been arrested. Your first court hearing will take place within hours or days of your arrest. You don’t want to be standing up in court with nobody by your side. That’s why you should schedule your consultation with one of our skilled DUI lawyer right away.

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