Prescription Drug & Alcohol DUI Interactions

It is crucial that residents of Richmond understand that when drugs and alcohol combine in an individual’s body, there is always a chance of there being a chemical interaction that can lead to DUI trouble. And while combining alcohol and a prescription drug may not always lead to a conviction, a person may still be charged and ultimately have to go through the criminal process to show that they are not, in fact, impaired.

If an individual has been pulled over due to intoxication, he or she should observe their constitutional rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to attain legal representation. An experienced attorney that is well versed in DUI laws, especially Virginia DUI’s, will be crucial.

Potential Penalties

The best way to avoid being stopped by law enforcement and charged with a DUI is by making the decision to stay put after mixing alcohol and a prescribed drug, especially if the side effects are unknown. The consequences of a DUI charge are severe and can negatively affect an individual in a number of ways, i.e.:

  • Jail Time
  • Possible Fines
  • An inability to maintain current employment or secure future employment
  • Suspension of his or her driver’s license

The penalties for a DUI far outweigh any urgency there may be to get behind the wheel of a car after mixing alcohol and prescription drug substances. If a medical practitioner has confirmed that it is okay to drink an alcoholic beverage with medication, it is always best to do so in the safety of one’s home or in a friend’s home.

Litigating A Prescription DUID Charge

While it is true that individuals who mix alcohol and drug substances are rarely charged, the process of being pulled over is a situation that no one would want to find themselves in. With this in mind, the burden will fall on the commonwealth to prove a person’s impairment, therefore a prescription drug & DUI case is going to be litigated through a totality of the circumstances test. What this means is that the officer who apprehended and charged the individual whom was under the influence will have to come to court and testify.

The officer will have to provide a detailed testimony as to what actions led them to believe that the person they pulled over was not only drinking but was under the influence of a drug or prescribed medication as well. In certain instances, an expert will be brought in to testify in court; a medical expert has the knowledge necessary to discuss the effects that a particular combination of drugs and alcohol can have on the human body.

In many cases, a prescription drug & DUI charge may be adjusted to a reckless driving charge or something similar, and the penalties will follow suit.

Attaining A DUID For Using Over-The-Counter Drugs

It is a common misconception that a person has to be under the influence of an illegal drug in order to be charged with DUID. However, that is not, in fact, the case. If a person is under the influence of any kind of drug—whether it be an illegal drug, such as cocaine or heroin, a prescription drug, such as Xanax or Oxycodone, or a drug that someone can buy over the counter, such as Benadryl or Nyquil, and can cause an adverse effect when combined with the subsequent operation of a motor vehicle, it can lead to an arrest or conviction for a DUID.