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Attorneys Stephen G. Fabian Jr. and Brian P. Young

Can you be charged with DUI for taking prescription medication?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2022 | DUI - Drunk Driving, DUI - Prescription Drugs |

Usually, when a person gets arrested for driving under the influence in Oklahoma, they think of alcohol or illegal drugs. However, it’s possible to be charged with the crime even while on legally-prescribed medication.

What are the laws for DUI regarding prescription medications?

Oklahoma and other states have per se laws against driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. As a result, if you are taking prescription medication that was legally prescribed by a doctor, you cannot drive or operate a vehicle if you are impaired.

When can you face a per se DUI charge?

You can face a per se DUI charge if you are on prescription drugs that cause your substance concentration to be elevated. This can also apply to illegal substances like cocaine. If a police officer makes you stop your vehicle, they might ask you to take a breath test.

When can you face an impairment DUI charge?

Any person who even operates a vehicle while impaired can face DUI charges. This means you don’t actually have to be driving but are in control of the car. An impairment DUI charge can be given when you’re on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, alcohol or illegal substances.

For example, a police officer can arrest you if they see you resting in a vehicle and believe you’re intoxicated or impaired. The officer has cause to do so if they make you take a field sobriety test and observe that you perform poorly. Even if your BAC ends up being within the legal limit, impairment DUI charges can still apply.

DUI charges are serious and should be taken seriously. If you were arrested, you have a right to fight back to clear your name.