DUI Charge: What Prescription Drugs Will Get You One?

Despite popular opinion, it is possible to face a DUI charge for prescription drugs in South Carolina. Most drunk driving cases are not limited to impairments from alcohol alone. Depending on the facts, a driver can also be charged for driving under the influence of prescriptions or illegal drugs.


If you get arrested and convicted for a drug-related DUI, you face hefty fines, lose your driving privileges, and permanently have the conviction on your record. Therefore, in dealing with drug-related DUI charges, you must speak to the best DUI defense lawyer in Charleston, SC. But first, let’s discuss the prescription drugs that could lead to a DUI charge.

What Kind of Prescription Drugs Could Result in a DUI Charge?

First, any medications that affect your ability to function well or make the right decision can lead to a DUI charge and arrest. Almost everyone with a health condition takes prescription medication to control the health challenge.

It doesn’t matter if the medication is for the short or long term; it may harm you while driving. According to the publication on Drug Abuse by the National Institute of Health, some drugs can impair a driver’s decision-making ability and reaction time. For example, some prescribed painkillers have been known as a primary factor in many automobile crashes.

Most times, people who take prescribed drugs may also have had alcohol and not realize the implications of mixing the medication and alcohol. In a DUI case, having a doctor’s prescription for your medication is irrelevant if the drug causes mental and cognitive impairments.

Many prescription drugs come with warnings on the packaging that cautions you not to drive after taking the medication. Several side effects of prescription medication, such as confusion, fainting, drowsiness, slowed movement, or dizziness, can affect your driving.

Some of these medications can also cause you to have blurred vision, get jittery, and be unable to pay attention to driving or focus. If an officer believes your actions while driving were impaired by drugs (illegal or prescribed), you will be arrested and face a DUI charge.

The following are the types of prescribed medications that can make you face a DUI charge in South Carolina:

  • Anti-insomnia medications such as Lunesta or Ambien
  • Anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium
  • Pain relievers like Fentanyl, Percocet, Codeine, Lortab, Celebrex, Ultram, OxyContin, and Lorcet.
  • Anti-addiction medications such as Suboxone and Methadone
  • Anti-ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) medications such as Ritalin or Adderall

Most prescription medications can affect your coordination and motto skills even if you take the specified dosage. Therefore, they are considered as risky as consuming alcohol. If you or a loved one gets arrested for DUI while on prescription drugs, the best DUI defense lawyer in Charleston, SC, can help.

can prescription drugs lead to a dui charge

Is It Wrong to Use Your Prescribed Medication?

No, which explains why many people do not realize they can get in serious trouble for taking prescribed medications by their doctor. Others think all they have to do is show the police officer who makes a DUI stop their prescription note and bottle, and they will not get into trouble.

But the reality is always different. The fact is, most people ignore warning that medication could make them dizzy or drowsy. This is the case whether the caution came from their doctor or was printed boldly on the pill bottle. So, if you don’t follow these instructions, you will be arrested and face a DUI charge for driving under the influence.

So, suppose you are using anti-insomnia medications. You are not supposed to operate a motor vehicle. The problem with these medications is that people abuse their use of them. While some do it on purpose to get high, others have built up a tolerance for the drugs. Either way, taking these prescription drugs can be dangerous, especially for drivers.

What Happens if I Get Arrested for Using Prescription Drugs in South Carolina?

As mentioned, many people use prescription drugs to control various diseases and health conditions. However, the number of DUI arrests for prescription medications is also rising. The tricky part is that incorrectly using some prescription drugs with other drugs can pose a real threat to you and other road users. Most times, you are unaware of the risk or may not think of the consequences that come with the prescription medications you are using.

If you get stopped by a police officer after using prescription medication and get arrested for DUI, talk with an experienced DUI lawyer. During a DUI trial, the law enforcement officer will present evidence supporting the symptoms of impairment they noticed at the time of the arrest. They will also show proof of an intoxicating amount in your blood.

The court uses this evidence to determine your innocence or guilt. They will consider that people react differently to prescribed medications, making it difficult to know the side effects ahead of time. Also, there’s a possibility that the arresting officer did not conduct the arrest procedure well.

Whatever the case, your best option is to work with a DUI lawyer that can help you determine the best strategy for your defense. For example, if you have been using the medication for some time and new side effects appear that you are unaware of, it can be used as a strong defense.

In addition, if you were not informed by your doctor about the side effects of the medications when combined with new drugs, it can also be used as a strong defense. Your lawyer will also argue about any irregularity in the arrest. Working with an experienced DUI attorney in South Carolina is your best option if you get arrested on a DUI charge. Therefore, never handle your DUI case alone; get legal representation.

Were You Arrested for a Prescription Drug-Related DUI? Contact the Best DUI Defense Lawyer in Charleston for Help

Have you been arrested for driving while under the influence of a prescription drug? You may have a valid defense, but you will not know until you speak to someone who understands the law. As such, you need the help of a DUI defense attorney in Charleston, SC.

Our experienced team at Charleston DUI Guy will build a strong defense in your favor and protect your rights. We will work to dismiss the charges against you or get you a lesser punishment. So, call and schedule an appointment with our criminal defense attorney in Charleston, SC today. We offer free case evaluations.