Driving under the influence is a common occurrence in every state, but across the nation, DUIs involving alcohol have been declining while prescription drug DUI arrests have increased. Specifically, in Georgia, the scales have tipped with many drivers being charged with being under the influence of prescription drugs.
Americans use more prescription drugs today than ever before, and in the past ten years, there has been a 10% increase in the number of Americans using at least one prescription drug. There was a 20% jump in the number of people using two or more prescription.
However, the most considerable difference has been a 70% increase in the number of Americans using five or more prescription drugs in the past ten years. That means there are many more people on the roads while taking prescription drugs than ever before.
DUIs involving prescription drugs can include over the counter medications, allergy medications, or other legal prescriptions. People assume that just because a drug is prescribed that it is okay to drive while taking it, but that is not true. Many valid prescriptions can cause drowsiness that could cause you to drive impaired. Then once your driving becomes impaired, the act becomes illegal. To be clear, the fact that someone has a valid prescription or purchased “over the counter” medication does not excuse that same person if they are found to be a less safe driver due to the consumption of the medication.
That being said, being arrested for any DUI offense does not mean you are guilty. There are challenges when it comes to testing for impairment related to prescription drug DUIs because standard tests such as the Breathalyzer or BAC don't work for prescription drugs. Therefore, whether or not a person is impaired by the prescription drugs is a matter of interpretation that can be challenged.
Furthermore, it can be hard to predict impairment because of the complex chemistry of prescription drugs. It is difficult to predict what the effects will be when taken by themselves but even harder when they are mixed with other drugs, whether legal or illegal, or with alcohol.
In addition, some prescriptions stay in your system for days or weeks. As a result, even if people are careful with their medications, they could end up being considered impaired, especially if mixed with other drugs or alcohol.
If you are taking prescription drugs and you feel dizzy, can't see straight, or feel drowsy, you should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. It is not worth the consequences of receiving a Prescription DUI in Georgia. It is always best to read all drug warnings and research your medications before operating a motor vehicle or other heavy machinery.
We never assume you are guilty just because you have been charged. The prosecution bears the burden of proving you may have been impaired by prescription drugs. We are experienced in defending these case and know how to present you in the most favorable light.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and never face severe Georgia DUI Penalties without first speaking to one of our attorneys.