DUI Drugs: But the drugs were legal

Question: How can I get a DUI if I was taking drugs that my doctor said I have to take? I don't understand why a Forsyth County deputy would give me a DUI just because I have to take medication for depression and anxiety. I really don't have a choice and I want to get better so I have to take my prescription medication.

I only had a couple of drinks and I left the restaurant with my wife. I was driving home and I swerved and I hit a tree. Nobody was injured but I think a passing driver called the cops. So a Forsyth cop showed up.

I admitted to having a drink and when the cop looked into the car he saw a pill bottle. He asked me what I had in it and I told him. I wasn't hiding anything. He asked me if I had taken any of the pills that day. I said that I had; I'm honest.

He wound up arresting me for drunk driving. I took the breath test and I wasn't high, but it did show that I'd been drinking. But I got a charge for DUI drugs. He said I could get a DUI charge if I had been taking prescription drugs. I can't believe that. These were not illegal drugs like pot or cocaine or meth. My doctor said I have to take them.

Explain to me why I got a DUI drugs charge for legal drugs?

B.F. in Cumming, GA

Answer: Under Georgia law you can get a DUI-drugs charge for driving on prescription medication if that prescription medication makes you a less-safe driver. In fact, it is becoming a more prevalent charge as greater numbers of people use prescription drugs.

Many people take pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives, and stimulants. Research has shown that some of these drugs can interfere with driving a car as much as, or even more, than alcohol. And the amoun t of time that drugs stay in your system varies by type of drug and dose. That's true for legal and illegal drugs.

Many people are under the assumption that a DUI-drugs charge can only be brought against a person who is found with illegal drugs. But that is a misconception, because any substance that causes someone to drive less safely can cause DUI.

Call us so we can talk about your best strategy to handle your case. Be aware that DUI and the charge of DUI-drugs can impact your driver's license in different ways. Usually a Dui-drugs charge carries a longer suspension than a DUI charge. We'll discuss that when you contact us.

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