Driving under the influence most commonly applies to driving after drinking alcohol. But, there are ways to get a DUI without having a sip of alcohol. This is because “driving under the influence” refers to the influence of both alcohol and drugs. Even if you have prescription for medication, you could get a DUI if you drive after taking it.

Police Detection

Police officers have the right to pull you over for a multitude of reasons. This includes speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, cutting other drivers off, or driving recklessly. If you are on medication that makes you act differently than you normally do, it could lead to some of these behaviors. It could be cause for an officer to pull you over. Once you get pulled over, a police officer will notice groggy behavior or drowsiness that could result from certain types of allergy or asthma medication, tranquilizers, stress-relief medication, or pain medication. While it might be perfectly legal for you to take this medication, you might not be allowed to drive after taking the medication.

Breath Tests

If pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, a police officer might ask you to submit to a breath test. Even if the breath test comes back negative, you can still face arrest for a DUI if you fail a field sobriety test. This is due to the fact that some illegal substances such as marijuana and some legal medication such as prescription pills do not show up on the breathalyzer test. A police officer can still determine that you are driving under the influence and arrest you as a result.

If the breath test indicates that you are not under the influence of alcohol, it might be difficult for the state to convict you of a DUI. However, you can still face charges for a DUI and you could face the punishments that go along with a DUI. For this reason, it is best to know the side effects of your medication before you drive with it in your system. If you start a new medication, try it out before you plan on driving. This will determine the effects of the medication and how long they last for. Also talk to your doctor about your medication. Your doctor can tell you if it is safe to drive after taking the medication.

DUI Defenses

There are several ways to fight a DUI charge if it is determined that you were not under the influence of alcohol, but instead under the influence of prescribed medication. In some cases involving DUIs and Prescription Drugs, it’s hard for the state to even prove that you were on any type of medication at the time of your arrest. Hiring a DUI lawyer to help build evidence for your defense is the best way that you can fight a DUI charge, especially if the breathalyzer test came back negative.