Build a Strong Defense Against Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Prescription Medication

Tucson lawyers protecting your rights in the Arizona courts

A DUI charge has nothing to do with whether your possession of the drug was lawful. The legal issue in a DUI case is whether you were impaired and lost the ability to drive safely. Just as you can be arrested for driving after drinking too much alcohol, you can also be charged with driving under the influence of properly prescribed medications. Arizona Revised Statute section 28-1381 makes it illegal to drive if you are impaired in any way by any drug in your system.

Nesci & St. Louis, PLLC is the premier DUI law firm in Pima County. Our attorneys commit our more than 50 years of combined experience to protecting the rights of individuals charged with DUIs throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona. We think strategically to challenge DUIs involving illicit drugs or legal medications.

What constitutes a DUI drug charge

You are likely familiar with the laws against driving while impaired by alcohol. At a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) of .08, you are presumed impaired. However, you can still be charged with a DUI if your BAC is lower or you refuse to take the Breathalyzer® test. In addition, you may be charged with driving while impaired by drugs that are undetectable through breath analysis, but which can be tested through blood or urine testing, including:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications — such as cold and allergy medications and OTC sleeping pills
  • Prescription pharmaceuticals — for example, antidepressants, antihistamines, anxiolytics, hypnotics, muscle relaxants, sedatives, anorectics, attention deficit disorder (ADD) medications, analgesics and cough suppressants
  • Illicit drugs — including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, MDMA, peyote and PCP

In addition to the DUI charge, you also face arrest for a companion charge of possession of drugs if you have in your possession an illicit substance or a legal medication that has not been properly prescribed for you.

Penalties for driving while under the influence of prescription drugs

Driving while impaired by prescription medications carries stiff penalties in Arizona, even for first-time offenders. A conviction for DUI involving a prescription drug might result in:

  • License suspension
  • Substantial fines
  • Community service hours
  • Mandatory attendance at a state- or Motor Vehicle Division (MVD)-approved program
  • Mandatory overnight incarceration
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense

As with a drunk driving conviction, conviction for DUI involving drugs typically triggers increased insurance premiums. Under the zero tolerance laws of Arizona, drivers who are underage may endure longer driver license suspensions for DUI with trace amounts of a drug in your system.

Consult with our DUI defense lawyer in Tucson, AZ about your prescription drug arrest

To learn more about fighting DUI charges involving prescription medications, call Nesci & St. Louis, PLLC today at 520.777.0235 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.