Accident DUI Based on Prescription Drugs

Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer Serving the Phoenix Area

Many prescription drugs alter a patient's judgment or make them sleepy or drowsy. Drunk driving is the most common type of DUI, but driving while on prescription drugs is also potentially dangerous. If you are charged with accident DUI based on prescription drugs in Arizona, you may face serious penalties and fines if you are convicted. You should retain an experienced Phoenix accident DUI attorney to represent you. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we can take a look at your case and develop a strategy to fight the charges.

Accident DUI Based on Prescription Drugs

Some drugs commonly associated with impaired driving include Vicodin, Oxycodone, Morphine, OxyContin, Xanax, Codeine, Percocet, and Valium. In Arizona, you may be convicted of a DUI if you operate your car under the influence of any illegal substance, or any legal substance if you are impaired while you drive. You are not allowed to drive even if you are impaired only to the slightest degree by a drug or a vapor-releasing substance containing toxic substances. This means that you may be charged with a DUI even if you are on prescription drugs for which you have a prescription if you are even slightly impaired.

The penalties for a DUI may be worse if you get into an accident as a result of driving under the influence, and they may be even harsher if a minor is in the car with you. Parents with children in the backseat must be vigilant not to take pain medications or anti-anxiety drugs while driving. In addition to criminal penalties for an accident DUI based on prescription drugs, you may also face a civil personal injury lawsuit brought by a person who is injured or the family of someone who is killed.

A conviction for an accident DUI may result in 5-18 years of imprisonment, more than $5,500 in fines, at least three years without a driver's license, five years of probation, community service, points on your driving record, and an ignition interlock device being installed on your car at your own expense. In addition, you face the social consequences of having a criminal record, such as not being able to get certain professional licenses or having difficulty securing a job or housing. When an accident DUI is a second offense, the penalties may be even harsher.

It is also illegal to drive if you still have certain metabolites in your body. Drug metabolites are what remain after the liver breaks down a drug, and some of them are prohibited under A.R.S. 28-1381(a)(3). For example, if you took prescription medication that was prescribed to somebody else, and its metabolites are prohibited and found in your system when you have an accident, you may be charged with a DUI.

There are many ways to defend against an accident DUI based on prescription drugs. As with other criminal charges, the prosecution must prove all of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Police are expected to follow numerous procedural rules as well as the Constitution when making an arrest. If, for example, the police fail to provide you with a Miranda warning after taking you into custody, we may be able to challenge the admission of any statements that you made after that point. Similarly, if the laboratory failed to follow appropriate protocols in connection with a blood or urine sample, we may be able to contest the admissibility of that evidence.

Consult a DUI Attorney in Phoenix or Surrounding Cities

Some consumers may not think about the consequences of driving while on prescription medication, or they may fail to read the warning labels on their medication jars. People who get behind the wheel while on prescription medications should be aware that an accident DUI based on prescription drugs may be punished harshly in Arizona. Our attorney is a former prosecutor who can provide aggressive, strategic representation. Contact Phoenix lawyer James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form for a free consultation. He also represents people who need a drunk driving defense attorney in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County.

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