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Can You Get a DUI for Prescription Drugs?

Richman Law Office LLC  Nov. 4, 2022

Law gavel alcohol and car keys on a wooden desk.Kansas and Missouri laws prohibit driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. An individual can become intoxicated from using over-the-counter or prescription medications. Similarly, any of these lawful drugs can affect your ability to drive safely. 

However, the majority of law enforcement officers in Missouri and Kansas lack the training and expertise to differentiate impairment caused by prescription drugs from intoxication due to illicit drugs or alcohol. A wise Kansas criminal defense attorney can educate you about the implications of driving on prescription drugs and help determine your best defenses. 

At Richman Law Office LLC, I have the diligence, resources, and knowledge to guide and represent clients in DUI/DUID-related matters. As your legal counsel, I can represent you aggressively in your DUID charges, dispute the allegations against you with factual evidence, and help keep your record clean. My firm is proud to serve clients across Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. 

DUID for Prescription Drugs 

In the states of Kansas and Missouri, driving or operating a motor vehicle after taking any drug – such as lawful, prescribed, OTC, or illicit drugs – that impairs your ability to drive safely can result in a DUID charge. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, the charges may be "Per Se" DUID or DUID based on impairment. 

Per Se DUID 

A defendant may be convicted of a per se DUID if the prosecuting attorney can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person operated a motor vehicle with an amount of drugs in their body system, which exceeded the legal limit. However, both Kansas and Missouri don't have any per se limit on drug metabolites – unlike alcohol with a BAC of at least 0.08%. 

Impairment DUI 

Conversely, impairment DUID requires the prosecution to establish that the defendant ingested or took drugs that actually affected their physical or mental ability to drive safely. 

Kansas DUID Law 

Kansas DUID law prohibits any individual from driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug, which renders them unable to drive safely. 

Missouri DUID Law 

Under Missouri law, a person may be arrested and charged with drugged driving for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drugs that render him or her incapable of safely driving a car. 

Additionally, driving after taking prescription medications such as antidepressants, stimulants, pain relievers, CBD, muscle relaxants, and some antihistamines is never advisable. While the majority of these drugs are legal in Kansas and Missouri, they can impair your ability to drive safely, based on the dosage. Therefore, always discuss with your physician to know whether you can drive after taking certain prescription drugs. Most importantly, do not drive upon using new medications. 

Penalties for Driving on Prescription Drugs 

Prescription medications often have various effects on their users. Some drugs are safe and won't impair your driving ability. Conversely, some medications may cause reactions or side effects that may affect your ability to drive safely. Below are some common physical symptoms if you are on prescription drugs: 

  • Increase your heart rate 

  • Cause blurry vision 

  • Cause dizziness 

  • Make you nauseated 

  • Cause fatigue 

  • Cause you to faint 

  • Slow down your movement 

  • Cause sleepiness or drowsiness 

  • You may become unable to concentrate or focus. 

Unfortunately, any of these reactions and side effects can expose you and other drivers or road users to possible risks while driving. Therefore, you should avoid driving a vehicle if you feel a little buzzed, dizzy, or drowsy after taking prescription drugs. 

Drugs That Can Get You a DUID 

Here are some legal drugs and prescription medications that can impair your ability to drive safely and ultimately get you a DUID: 

  • Prescription medications for anxiety 

  • Kombucha tea 

  • Herbal supplements 

  • Antidepressants 

  • Stimulants 

  • Opioids for pain relievers 

  • Products containing codeine 

  • Medical Marijuana 

  • Muscle relaxants 

  • Diet pills 

  • Sleeping pills 

  • Anti-seizure drugs 

  • Medicines for treating diarrhea symptoms 

If you have recently been arrested and charged with a DUID for a prescription drug, you must consult with a highly-skilled DUI/DWI/DUID defense attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can investigate all of the surrounding facts of your unique situation and determine the possible defenses to help fight your drugged driving charges. 

Richman Law Office LLC Can Help Your Situation 

Unfortunately, you may be charged with drugged driving for driving or attempting to drive while impaired with legal drugs, such as OTC and prescription drugs. However, defending your DUI/DUID charges – even if it was for prescription drugs – without skilled representation can increase your risks of suffering harsh penalties and consequences. Therefore, hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is imperative to protect your legal rights and help strategize your defense. 

At Richman Law Office LLC, I'm dedicated to providing dependable representation and clear guidance to clients facing DUID charges for operating a vehicle on prescription drugs. As your legal team, I will investigate every aspect of your case and craft a solid defense strategy to help fight your drugged driving allegations. Above all, I will represent you in the court proceedings and continue fighting for your driving privilege, freedom, and future. 

Have you been charged with a DUI for lawful drug use? Contact me at Richman Law Office LLC today to arrange a simple case evaluation. I will help you navigate the Kansas and Missouri criminal justice system and help fight your DUID allegations in pursuit of the most favorable outcome. My firm is proud to serve clients across Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.