blog > August > 2018 > Prescription Drug Use While Driving Can Lead to Charge with DUI
Prescription Drug Use While Driving Can Lead to Charge with DUI
You can be charged with a DUI for taking prescription medication, which can be shocking if you aren’t familiar with California law. Police officers in Santa Rosa are even trained to determine if drivers have been taking medication. Not only that, you are legally obligated to let them test your blood if they have probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence. Luckily, our Santa Rosa lawyers at the Law Office of Joe Bisbiglia can help you fight prescription drug charges.
Is Involuntary Intoxication a Defense?
In California, individuals can be cited for driving under the influence of “any drug.” And under California case law, a drug is any substance aside from alcohol that could impair driving ability. Not only that, but Appellate Courts in California have found that even substances taken for medical purposes, such as insulin, are considered drugs under DUI laws.
In one case, Ricky Jay Holloway was under the influence of Soma, Vicodin, and Klonopin. But Appellate Justice Kane ruled that Holloway was entitled to an instruction that addressed members of the jury. This instruction let them know that individuals can be involuntary intoxicated if they knowingly ingest prescription medication without the knowledge or reason to anticipate their intoxicating side effects. The involuntary intoxication defense allows a defendant to sidestep criminal responsibility for actions taken while involuntarily intoxicated.
Defending Your Case
However, Justice Kane’s opinion can no longer be published and your lawyer cannot cite this case throughout your defense if you are charged with a DUI due to prescription drugs. Ultimately, if you are in a DUI case stemming from prescription medication use, you need a defense attorney to help you understand the risks you are facing.