What are the defenses to prescription drug DUI cases? Being accused of driving under the influence is a serious charge in Arizona, whether the allegations are that you were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. With the increased use and abuse of prescription drugs across the country, authorities everywhere are focusing more on driving under the influence of medications. In fact, in the Mesa area, drug related DUIs can even outpace traditional DUI arrests. One of the primary reasons for this is that many people don’t realize the extent to which a prescription medication can impair driving ability.

Even though prescription medications are legal when prescribed by an appropriate medical professional, they can impact your ability to drive. Your doctor should always inform you of risks and the best times to take medication, but any medication that alters your ability to drive could put you at risk for a prescription drug DUI.

Arizona Driving Under the Influence

In Arizona, you can be charged with a DUI even when you are taking prescription drugs under a doctor’s guidance. Even if the metabolite of the medication is still inside your body, you can still be charged with a DUI even if the drug hasn’t actually impaired your abilities. Even in the instance that you were driving correctly, you could still be found guilty if any of the medications classified as narcotic drugs, prescription only drugs, or dangerous drugs were found in your system.

Some of the common medications that could lead to a DUI charge include:

Valium

Xanax

Vicodin

Oxycodone

Codeine

Morphine

OxyContin

Defenses to Charges

One of the most common defenses to a prescription drug DUI case in Arizona is known as a safe harbor defense. If the drug was prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, you may be able to argue a defense under Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381.

It’s in your best interests to find an attorney who is familiar with defending victims of prescription drug DUI charges. Once your attorney has had an opportunity to examine the facts in your case, he or she may determine that there are one or more issues at play, such as:

Insufficient evidence that you were impaired

Evidence that you were impaired as a result of other reasons outside of your control

Tainted blood tests

Improperly administered blood tests

Being pulled over without probable cause

All of these could have important implications for your defense to a prescription drug DUI in Arizona. They could lead to reduced or dismissed charges, so you should only entrust your case to an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney who can advocate for you and your rights. Your future is too important to lose out on a strong defense because of minor details in your case. Connect with a qualified attorney early on so that you can explore all possible avenues for your defense. Even if you are charged with this crime, an effective attorney could help get the penalties reduced in your case, such as exchanging jail time for drug counseling or community service. Be aware of all of your options and consult a Mesa criminal defense attorney immediately.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.