Virginia Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer
A prescription drug is a drug that a person is legally allowed to take by virtue of getting a prescription from a licensed medical physician. Medications naturally come with side effects. Side effects of prescription drugs can sometimes include drowsiness and poor motor function, which means that when you drive while on medication, you are driving under the influence.
Prescription drug DUIs are just as serious as alcohol-based DUIs, which is why if you have been charged with a DUI, you should contact a Virginia prescription drug DUI lawyer. Get in touch with a skilled drug attorney that can mount a solid defense for you.
Prescription Drugs Commonly Linked to DUIs
The two most common examples are pain-relieving drugs of the opioid category that people are often prescribed post-surgery or post-traumatic injury. If they take those and they drive after, the odds are that they are probably not capable of operating a motor vehicle safely but it depends on the strength of those drugs and how long ago they were taken.
The other common example seen includes psychotropic drugs that could impact a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, typically anti-depressants would not trigger such a thing but there are other drugs that are much stronger that could make a person drowsy or otherwise incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.
How Does a Case Change Depending on Whether the Person Was Aware of the Potential For Impairment?
A person who gets behind the wheel of a car to drive somewhere is cast with the responsibility of being aware of their ability to operate the car safely. Lack of awareness or lack of expectation of being impaired is not a defense under the law. Now, it certainly could be factored in as mitigating evidence in negotiating with the government to try to come up with a solution that is less harsh than the DUI, but accidental impairment is not a legal defense. A Virginia prescription DUI lawyer can use it as mitigating factor to negotiate with the government but in terms of arguing that before a judge that they did not know that that person would be impaired, that is not going to work.
If an individual relies on medication to function they are not any less accountable for the effects of their medication. If a person relies on a medication to function and that reliance results in their inability to operate a motor vehicle safely, then the court will simply tell them they should not drive.
Penalties For a Prescription Drug DUI
If a person is charged with a DUI that is based on one’s consumption of prescription drugs, the penalty is the same as it would be if that person were charged with a DUI based on alcohol. It is all written in the same statute in Virginia and the penalties are identical regardless of whether it is alcohol-based or drug based. If it is the first offense, the person would be looking at a 12-month loss of license with the ability to get that license restricted to go to and from work or school and a number of other available restrictions.
They would have to complete ASAP or a similar program, which is the Alcohol Safety Action Program. They would be facing a fine in the amount of generally $300 to $500 and usually, they would be facing suspended jail time. A Virginia prescription DUI lawyer may help an individual mitigate potential penalties that they might face.
Necessity of an Attorney
The law is a complicated business and there are many different processes and many different protections that are available to defend it under the law. Only an attorney who regularly practices criminal defense and DUI defense is going to be able to help that person to the best of one’s ability. If you have been charged with a prescription DUI, get in contact with a Virginia prescription DUI lawyer that can work towards a positive outcome for you.