Under Arizona law, an individual may be charged with a DUI even if he or she was under the influence of a prescription medication or other legal substance. To be convicted of a DUI, a person must have been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any legal or controlled substance. A driver is legally under the influence when he or she is unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.
It is not uncommon for prescription medications to cause a person to become drowsy, to faint or to lose the ability to concentrate. Those who take prescription medications may also experience blurred vision while driving or attempting to perform other tasks. Ultimately, these side effects may put a motorist at an increased risk of getting into an accident. Individuals are encouraged to talk with their doctors if they experience these or other side effects after taking their medication.
In most cases, the penalties a person could face in a DUI case are the same regardless of what that individual was under the influence of. Furthermore, a judge will likely use the same factors when determining a driver’s sentence whether that person was impaired by alcohol or by prescription medication. Those factors typically include a driver’s level of impairment when taken into custody as well as that person’s prior criminal record.
Those who are charged with DUI may face various penalties such as jail time, a fine or a drivers license suspension. Anyone who is facing jail time is entitled to legal representation to help with their cases, and an attorney may be able to help a person obtain a favorable outcome in his or her proceeding. A favorable outcome might include an acquittal or a plea deal that allows a person to avoid jail time.