Prescription or Illegal Drug DUI

Prescription or Illegal Drug DUI

Columbus Ohio Prescription or Illegal Drug DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) involving Prescription or Illegal Drugs in the Columbus Ohio Area, or its surrounding counties, contact the Rutan Law Firm for specific information and expertise on DUI cases connected with Prescription or Illegal Drugs.

About Prescription or Illegal Drug DUI:

Driving Under the Influence is just that – driving under the effect of a substance that impairs your normal faculties, and can include driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or even over-the-counter drugs and medications. Although drivers in the State of Ohio typically think of DUI as involving the consumption of alcohol, in fact, drivers can also be arrested for DUI if they are believed to be impaired by Prescription or Illegal Drugs.

Being arrested for DUI involving Prescription or Illegal drugs carries the additional predicament of also potentially facing an arrest and conviction for Drug Possession. Thus, your attorney should have experience in both areas to provide you with the best counsel.

Complexity of Prescription or Illegal Drug DUI Arrests & Convictions:

When law enforcement stops you for suspicion of DUI, they must establish that your normal faculties are impaired or your breath / blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher utilizing a DUI breath test. Typically, individuals under the influence of Prescription or Illegal Drugs will not register an illegal breath / blood alcohol content level (unless they have also been drinking). Thus, law enforcement officers are forced to establish that your normal faculties are impaired using Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and determine the presence of Prescription or Illegal Drugs utilizing a DUI urine test, or a DUI blood test.

To further complicate matters, there are complex scientific issues concerning the identification of active ingredients of drugs in both urine and blood testing. Additionally, it is difficult to ascertain whether or not the substance identified was an active or an inactive metabolite at the time of testing. There is also a human variable to add to the equation – each individual has unique tolerances to Prescription or Illegal Drugs that can significantly influence their actual level of impairment regardless of the empirical result of the urine test.

Should your case go to trial, the State will be required to have a Toxicology Expert testify to the presence and levels of Prescription and Illegal Drugs and how they may have contributed to your impairment at the time of driving. It should be noted that the prosecution’s “Experts” are typically not doctors, but will attempt to correlate levels of impairment to the driver’s normal state – an oftentimes difficult task as the “Expert” has had no prior contact with the defendant. T

All of the complexities related to Prescription and Illegal DUI arrests make for good defenses and may potentially influence the outcome of your case. In fact, even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes the inherent complexities of establishing a relationship between a person’s blood or plasma concentration of a Prescription or Illegal Drug and performance impairing effects.

Please see the links below for further information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Drug and Human Performance:

Facts and Myths About Prescription Drug DUI:

Although Prescription Drugs (prescribed to you) are legal, you may still be arrested for DUI while under the influence of a Prescription Drug. All Prescription Drugs include warning labels that often caution that the substance may, “Cause Drowsiness or Dizziness,” or that the consumer should, “Use Care When Operating a Motor Vehicle or Heavy Machinery.” Others go a step further and warn that the consumer should not operate a motor vehicle while utilizing the Prescription Drug. While the warning labels state cautions, they do not indicate that you can be arrested for DUI while using your legal medication. It is important to establish that you were within the “therapeutic range” of the Prescription Drug in question.

What To Do Next:

If you have been arrested for DUI involving Prescription or Illegal Drugs:

  • Don’t speak to the police – ask to have an attorney present.
  • Don’t give a written statement – again, ask to have an attorney present.
  • Contact an attorney immediately.
  • Collect and document your own evidence.

Call the Rutan Law Firm at 614-307-4343

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