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DUI Prescription Drugs in AZ: What you need to know

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is usually associated with drunken driving  or drugs like cocaine, heroin or marijuana. As you may have found out, you can also be charged with DUI when you’re accused of driving while taking prescription drugs. There is a lot you need to know if you’re are charged with DUI prescription drugs. First, don’t panic about the charge. The prosecution thinks it has enough evidence against you to prove your guilt. However, we know differently. Thus, it’s important to speak with us regarding your DUI prescription drugs case as quickly as possible.

A.R.S 28-1381

According to the above law, it is illegal to drive or physically control a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The law doesn’t make any provisions for anyone who is slightly impaired. This means that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is below the illegal limit. To understand more about being impaired too the slightest degree under the law and still getting charged, click here.

DUI Prescription Drugs

According to A.R.S. 13-3401, drugs are defined as substances that are applied, injected or ingested into your body. It describes prescription-only drugs as those causing potentially toxic or harmful effect and recognized by medical professionals as safe when prescribed by a physician. The most common drugs associated with DUI prescription drugs are anti-anxiety and sleep aid medications. However, there are some other prescribed medications that are causing Arizonans to be charged with DUI prescription drugs such as:

  • Percocet
  • Vicodin
  • Codeine
  • Norco
  • Valium

Possible Defenses

It’s vital to contact us immediately after a DUI prescription drugs arrest because of A.R.S. 28-1381- D. This is the subsection of the law that may help you. If you are using a drug prescribed by your physician pursuant to title 32, chapter 17, 7, 11 or 13, you may not be guilty of violating the DUI law.

Another possible defense your lawyer could use is asserting that you were affected by your prescription the way police claim. Your lawyer may introduce things like a copy of the side effects for you particular prescription.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, your defense team will be able to come up with a defense to present at trial. Your team may even be able to get the charge dismissed or reduced.

Possible Punishment

Worst case scenario is that you’re convicted of the DUI prescription drugs charge. The charge is treated just like a typical DUI conviction. In other words, you face the same penalties. In a first-time Class 1 misdemeanor (with no aggravating factors), you may receive 10 days in jail, license suspension, substance abuse education, probation, counseling and fines.

If this is your second DUI offense within seven years of your first conviction, you face a harsher punishment. For instance, you may spend 90 days in jail, driver’s license revocation for one year and fines. Also, included is substance abuse education, counseling and probation.

Any other convictions within the seven year period of your second conviction is elevated to a felony offense. You can spend four months in prison. You can face revocation of your driver’s license for three years. Also, you face fines and probation or community service.

If you are arrested for a DUI prescription drugs charge, contact us. We are here to discuss the circumstances of your arrest and possible defense options. You’ve only been accused of DUI prescriptions drugs, not convicted. So don’t let the state win by pleading guilty when you have the option to fight and possibly win your DUI prescription drugs case.

Click for a Free Immediate Online Consultation with one of our attorneys, or please call Maasen Law Firm’s Arizona DUI lawyers: 480-778-1500