DUI Charges aren't just for alcohol and illegal drugs
When it comes to DUI's, you mostly hear about cases that involve someone drinking too much alcohol, smoking marijuana or using some other form of illegal narcotic. But more and more people are being arrested for DUI because they took a drug that they had a prescription for. There aren't any laws that prevent you from driving while taking medication but there are laws about driving under the influence of drugs whether they are prescribed or not. It is an important distinction and people get into a lot of trouble because they don't realize the difference.
There are many ways to defend yourself against DUI charges that involve drugs. To choose the right defense for your situation, you will need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney. Our legal team has years of experience defending our clients against DUI charges and we would be happy to discuss your case with you. Just give one of our DUI attorneys a call to set up a free consultation.
What if the medication was taken in a lawful manner and per my prescription?
DUI cases that revolve around prescription drugs can be very complicated because they involve a lot of interpretation. It may not be illegal to take medication and drive, but if a police officer feels that it is impairing your ability to drive safely then you can be charged with DUI. The officer could even arrest you and request a blood test or get a warrant for a blood test if you refuse. If your blood test comes back positive for medication then the state may follow through with DUI charges - on the other side, even without a test result, the State can still charge you with DUI Drugs. A lot of it will come down to whether the police officer that stopped you believed that your medication or a combination of medications and/or illegal drugs or alcohol made you unsafe to drive. It's a judgment call on their part and you will need a DUI lawyer to argue your side and prove that the officer made a mistake.
How do I know if it's illegal to take my medication and drive?
A lot of medicine labels will say something to the effect of "Do Not operate motor vehicle after taking" - this does not mean it is illegal for you to drive, it is a precaution. However, if a police officer deems your driving to be “less safe” because of the influence of a prescription drug, they can charge you with DUI. It doesn't mean that the officer is correct, they just made a judgment call and they could be wrong. If you are facing a DUI charge of any kind, contact our legal team today so we can start going over the details of your case and answer any questions you may have.
Punishment for a DUI Drugs Conviction
First DUI Penalties - Age 21 or Older with a Georgia Driver's License
First Offense in 10 years
Fines from $300 to $1,000
Jail time from 10 days to 1 year (A judge may suspend all but 24 hours.)
40 hours of community service
Alcohol & Drug Evaluation and recommended treatment, which may be waived by court
Loss of license for 1 year. With a DUI Drugs conviction, you will face a mandatory hard suspension for 6 months without any permit to drive.
$210 license reinstatement fee
Up to 1 year on probation
Visit our other page for more information on Georgia DUI Penalties