Prescription Medication Can Impair You
Many people are under the impression that you cannot be convicted of a Utah DUI if you are under the influence of a legally prescribed medication. Unfortunately that is not true. Just like alcohol, prescription medications are legal substances (so long as you have a prescription). The problem is that prescription drugs can impair you. Many medications have side affects which can make you drowsy or impair your cognitive processes. Such side effects can be dangerous when you are behind the wheel.
As a result of the dangers which can arise from driving when on prescription medication, the Utah Legislature has included prescription drugs under the DUI statute. So, if you are taking Ambien, for example, and you become drowsy while driving, a law enforcement officer can cite you for DUI.
The Blood Test Is Determinative
One major difference between a DUI involving alcohol and a DUI involving prescription drugs is the fact that neither the portable breath test nor the Intoxilyzer machine can detect prescription drugs. Thus, law enforcement must perform either a urine test or a blood test. Our of a urine test and a blood test the blood test is the more accurate of the two and will trump the urine test results.
Blood tests will not always detect prescription drugs, however. In cases where you have a negative blood test, meaning the test did not detect any prescription drugs, the government will have a very difficult time proving that you were impaired.
Even when the blood test shows positive for prescription drugs that does not necessarily mean that the government can prove that you were impaired. Some prescription drugs will not impair you and if such a drug is the only one found in your blood the government will still have a difficult time proving impairment.
If you have been charged with DUI in Utah, call us. We are DUI Defense Lawyers and will protect your rights. You will always be better off with one of our DUI lawyers than without one. Call us at 801.413.1753 to schedule a consultation about your case.