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Are the Penalties the Same for DUIs Involving Prescription Medication?

If you have been arrested for a drug DUI in Los Angeles, call a DUI lawyer right away.It is easy to believe that because you have a prescription for your medication, you cannot be charged with Driving Under the Influence. But this is far from true.

Driving under the influence of legal drugs, prescription medications or over-the-counter medications can still result in a DUI arrest and a potential conviction just the same as an alcohol-related DUI in California.

My name is Jon Bryant Artz, an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney with over 40 years of experience. I have worked with hundreds of clients who fell victim to not understanding the laws for driving under the influence on prescription medications in California. I took the time to write this guide to help people on prescription drugs understand the law and stay on the right side of it.

California Laws for Driving Under the Influence

The purpose of California DUI Laws is to prevent impaired driving on the road so that all drivers can remain safe. Just because a doctor prescribes medication, it does not mean that the medication will not impair your driving and that you are able to drive safely.

In many cases, prescription medications and over-the-counter medications will severely impair your driving and they specifically state on the bottles not to drive while Under the Influence.

Impaired driving in California is defined as driving while you are unable to safely operate your vehicle because of an alcoholic beverage, drug, or any combination of the two. This means if you are on a medication that impairs your judgment, your motor skills, your concentration, or your alertness, it is just as dangerous as drinking and driving – and will be treated as driving under the influence by law enforcement.

Such medications can result in unsafe driving, slower reaction times, and car crashes which is why medications result in criminal charges and penalties. Always be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist when taking medication on a regular basis to learn more about its ability to impair you, and whether you can drive while taking it.

Penalties for DUI On Prescription Medications in California

Impaired driving in California often has the same penalties as a DUI charge, even if you are impaired from the use of prescription medications. Assuming there are no aggravating factors, the sentencing you face will be contingent upon how intoxicated you were, what happened as a result of your intoxication, and how many offenses you have on your record.

This can be severely exacerbated if illegal drugs are found in your vehicle. Assuming they are not and everything is otherwise on the up-and-up, you will face higher fines and potential jail time if you have been convicted of a DUI in the past, if somebody was injured as a result of your impairment, or if there was property damage as a result of a car crash.

The sentencing will be determined on a case-by-case basis which can result in jail time, fines, a suspension of your license, and more. One common sentencing for first-time offenders is attending a DUI school or alcohol treatment class.

Your vehicle may be impounded and your license suspended, as well as additional fines. In more serious cases where perhaps alcohol and prescription drugs were mixed, you may face an ignition interlock device in future which requires you to blow into a device to determine whether or not you are intoxicated before you are allowed to start your vehicle.

Wrapping it Up – What to Do if You Have Been Charged for DUI in California for Prescription Medication Use

If you have been charged with a DUI for Prescription Drugs in California, you should seek professional help immediately. The charges you face can be serious, and more often than not, a professional Los Angeles DUI Attorney can help you reduce or even get the charges dropped in some cases.

Ultimately, these things happen, and a lot of people in this position are unaware of the way prescription medications impair their driving ability or are unable to complete their daily tasks without the aid of them. This is something that may work to your advantage in court if you work with a highly experienced professional.

If you have recently been charged with a Prescription Drug DUI in Los Angeles, you will want the best team to represent you. I have over 40 years of experience in dealing with DUI in California, and I am confident that I have the skills and the resources to help you fight your case. Contact me today for a free case evaluation, which will help you learn more about your options and what steps to take next.

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