Could I Get a DUI for Using My Own Prescription Medication?

Many people rely on prescription medications that can affect their mental state. People who suffer from chronic pain or are recovering from an acute illness or injury may need opiate pain medicine to function. Those who suffer from anxiety may need benzodiazepines to get through the day. People with ADHD or narcolepsy may need prescription amphetamines. Insomniacs may need sleeping pills. The list goes on. People who use these medications frequently need to get to work, or the grocery store, or doctor’s appointments- just like everyone else. But could they be charged with a DUI for driving themselves after taking their prescription medication? In most cases, the answer is yes.

Those who are facing DUI charges based on their use of a medication that was prescribed to them should contact an experienced DUI attorney for help.

What the Law Says About Driving Under the Influence

In Illinois, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of any intoxicating substance. This includes alcohol, cannabis, and any other intoxicating substance, including those that have been prescribed. Your use of the medication itself does not have to be illegal for you to get a DUI. If your prescription medication makes you feel intoxicated or impaired - “high” or “loopy” - then you cannot legally drive. Generally, if your ability to drive safely is impaired, you may be found guilty of a DUI.

How Prescription Drug Impairment is Measured

Scientific measurements to show a person’s level of actual, present, impairment may not be possible when the drug in question is prescriptive. You could be charged with a DUI if there is any amount of a controlled substance in your blood, urine, or saliva, even if the drug was prescribed to you.

Some of these drugs can stay in your system for days after your last use - you could easily be accused of a DUI while perfectly sober. DUI arrests are often based on the police officer’s observations. If you do not appear impaired, you are unlikely to be arrested in the first place.

Police officers look for signs like confusion, excessive sleepiness or jumpiness, incoordination, or slurred speech. The roadside sobriety tests used on drivers who are suspected to be drunk may or may not be applicable for other forms of impairment. If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, and you have a drug in your system, you will most likely be charged and could be convicted.

Call Will and Grundy County DUI Attorney

If you are facing DUI charges, the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can offer you zealous representation. Our experienced Will County DUI lawyers will protect your rights and best interests throughout the case. Contact us at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

Fighting a DUI in Illinois

Just because you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) does not mean that you are definitely going to be convicted. There are ways to fight back when you are facing drunk driving charges. Defendants often feel that their situation is hopeless, but this is rarely the case. There are a myriad of possible defenses. Anything from the reason you were pulled over in the first place to the results of chemical BAC testing can be challenged. Securing a DUI conviction depends on the police following very specific procedures and a mistake by an officer could lead to your case being dismissed. To put a strong defense forward, you will need an experienced DUI lawyer who has a good understanding of DUI laws and BAC testing procedures.

Defending Your DUI Case

Your DUI case may be more defensible than you think. Some strategies your lawyer may want to use include:

• Invalid chemical tests - There are many more ways for law enforcement to mess up chemical testing after a DUI arrest than there are for them to do it right. Anything from not performing routine calibrations of the testing equipment to not waiting long enough to administer a breath test could invalidate the results. Police officers are not medical professionals and frequently mishandle biological samples or equipment like test tubes.

• Unjustified traffic stop - Police officers must have reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime in order to pull you over. If their only excuse is that you were driving in a bad neighborhood or that they “had a gut feeling” you were doing something wrong, then any charges that came out of the invalid stop may be dismissed.

• Lack of monitoring - If you were involved in an accident, the police may not be able to prove that you were drunk before the crash happened and did not consume alcohol between the time your car came to a stop and the time police arrived.

• Police error - This can include improper questioning relating to a miranda violation, improper searches and seizures and more technical issues relating to procedures with the arrest.

Even if you are the rare defendant with a truly indefensible case, there are still steps an attorney can take to mitigate your sentencing and minimize the impact this will have on your life.

Call a Will County DUI Defense Attorney

At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we are highly skilled at defending DUI cases. Our experienced Grundy and Will County DUI lawyers will thoroughly evaluate each detail of your case to determine how best to defend you. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

Do I Still Need a Lawyer If I am Not Guilty?

Innocent people are arrested far more frequently than most people would like to believe. The fact is that a false or even illegal arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Your arrest could have been the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or someone may have made a false accusation against you. Either way, you wound up in handcuffs for something you did not do.

If you have been the victim of a unsubstantiated arrest, it is very important that you are represented by an attorney. It is disturbingly common for arrestees to be pressured into pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit, or even convicted after a jury trial. Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. fights hard to keep innocent people from winding up with a criminal record.

Common Reasons for False Arrests

When an innocent person is arrested and charged with a crime, it is usually for one of just a few reasons. These common reasons for false arrests include:

• Proximity to drugs - You were over at a friend or relative’s house, or in their car, when the police showed up. It turns out they had drugs you did not know about. The police arrest you just for being there.

• False domestic violence accusation - Especially if you are going through a bad breakup or divorce, or even just a heated argument, your romantic partner may claim that you hit or pushed them. Sometimes the police believe this lie and make a needless arrest.

• Officer bias - Police officers sometimes make arrests mainly because they are biased against a group the arrestee belongs to. This is common if you are a minority, an immigrant, or a woman. They may charge you with a crime that happened but that you are not responsible for, or they may have you charged with a “catch-all” offense like disorderly conduct.

Why You Need an Attorney to Fight False Charges

Once a prosecutor has been assigned to your case, they will do just about anything to secure some type of conviction. There is also a chance that the officer who arrested you will lie in order to get you convicted. Defendants without their own attorney are much more likely to be pressured into a plea deal that will leave them with a criminal record but help them avoid jail time or a more serious charge.

An attorney can fight for your freedom and protect your rights. If you are innocent, your lawyer can investigate and gather as much proof as possible that you did not do what you are accused of doing. While it is supposed to be on the prosecution to prove your guilt, in real life, you will be much better off if you have a lawyer to help prove your innocence.

Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing charges for a crime you did not commit, the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. will do everything in our power to save you from getting stuck with a criminal record. Our skilled Joliet criminal defense lawyers know how prosecutors and police operate so we can counter their tactics effectively. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.


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