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Being Accused Of a Prescription Drug DUI

Many of us take the prescription drugs we are given by a doctor without thinking twice about how they may influence us, but many of these legal substances do come with side effects. In some instances, the bottle may warn in advance to be cautious about driving or operating motor vehicles while using this prescription.

To be accused of driving under the influence, a driver needs to be shown to be taking a substance, legal or illegal, that is shown to stifle their ability to operate their vehicle in an effective manner. This means that even prescription drugs can result in an impaired driver, and drivers using prescription drugs can find themselves facing DUI charges in California.

Driving under the influence means that you are in physical control of a motor vehicle while using any substance that can affect your ability to control your:

  • Nervous system
  • Brain
  • Muscles

If you can no longer operate a vehicle similarly to a sober person, then you are considered to be impaired. Considering the drastic effect that prescription drugs can have on the human body, it is no wonder that hundreds of people in San Diego and across California are accused of prescription drug DUI every year.

You Have Defense For Prescription DUI Accusations

California law explicitly states that “The fact that any person charged with [a DUI] . . . is, or has been entitled to use, the drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense . . . ." (VC 23630.) Therefore, if you have been accused of a prescription drug DUI, you may be facing similar penalties the same as if you consumed an illegal amount of alcohol before driving.

  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Jail time
  • Probation
  • Significant fines
  • Drug and alcohol school

If you have been accused of an additional DUI within California’s lookback period or if there were extenuating circumstances, such as an injury, your penalties may be harsher. Working with a skilled DUI defense attorney can help protect your rights during this time.

Attorney De Yoe has over 30 years of experience defending the rights of those in San Diego and the surrounding areas. He can examine your case for your best possible defense, which may be showing that you were not under the influence, that exhaustion or another symptom was mistaken for impairment, or the samples taken were not accurate.

Contact our firm for a consultation to learn more.