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Maryland Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer
Someone can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs for being on prescription medications if the prescription medications were impairing their ability to drive at the time they were on them. Whether that drug actually had an impact on the individual’s driving is something that their drug DUI attorney will try to demonstrate for the court as something that the state could not prove. Having knowledge of what that drug does and the difference between it and something that is far more likely to affect driving, like a sleep medication, is something that only somebody with a great deal of experience in this area, such as a a Maryland prescription drug DUI lawyer, would know.
Prescription DUID Charges
In order to be charged with a prescription drug DUI, the officer must have probable cause to believe that somebody is under the influence of that drug and that that drug has impaired them to a degree that it would impact their driving. They’ll do this with varying information, including the bad driving, how a person was in a normal interaction with the officer and then how they performed on the series of drug recognition tests that are designed specifically to try and determine if a person was driving under the influence or impaired by a drug at that time that the officer interacted with them.
Occasionally one might see blood tests that are conducted or urine analysis tests that are conducted by police officers to further evaluate, not only what a person might have had in their system, but what level it might have been and how that level might have impacted their driving at that time.
Types of Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs include any kind of drug that somebody needs a doctor to prescribe them in order to have access to. The list includes things that are very basic and might not impact driving at all, like antibiotics. They could also be any number of things that would definitely have a major impact on driving such as Oxycodone, sleep medications, anti-anxiety medications, and painkillers.
Prosecution of These Charges
The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were impaired at that time by a prescription drug and that when you were impaired by that prescription drug, it impacted your driving or your ability to drive at the time the officer stopped you.
Role of Drug Recognition Examiner
Drug recognition examiners (DRE) are experts and are usually called either to the scene of a particular stop with a driver or to the police station after the person have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance.
This expert has specialized training in the field of drug recognition and is able to utilize the series of tests that they have been trained on to look for clues, to determine whether or not a person who was driving the vehicle was under the influence of drugs at that time.
This testing can be very shaky at times and there is a great deal of skepticism in the scientific community as to the acceptability of the results that a drug recognition expert might find in these kinds of cases.
Penalties in Maryland
Driving under the influence of prescription drugs has the same penalty as driving under the influence of marijuana, or any other controlled dangerous substance, and carries a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a maximum number of twelve points on an individual’s driver’s license.
The DUI charges themselves would not be different if the driver didn’t have a prescription for the drugs. However, if someone had the drugs, or additional drugs, on them at the time they are pulled over and arrested, they would likely also face criminal charges for being in possession of drugs that were not prescribed to them.
Consulting a Prescription DUID Lawyer in Maryland
It is important for the driver to provide prescription and medical information to their Maryland prescription drug lawyer to make sure that the attorney recognizes whether or not the driver is under the influence of a legal prescription, or alleged to be under the influence of a legal prescription, at the time they were driving their vehicle.
While it does not matter for the DUI charge itself, whether someone was driving under the influence of medication that was properly prescribed or not, it can be a very good mitigating factor for the attorney to share with the judge in terms of seeking a reduction of sentence.
Information to Provide an Attorney
A prescription drug attorney in Maryland would want to have a conversation with their client to determine the client’s recollection of the events. They will want to have the prescriptions that the driver was taking brought into the office, so that they could evaluate them and see exactly what they were and how they might affect a person’s driving.
An attorney will also want to collect any evidence from the client that was provided by the police officers, so that they can go out and determine whether there were witnesses on the scene who might have seen what happened, and whether they might have seen the Field Sobriety Tests. A lawyer will also research the credentials of any drug recognition expert that was used in the process to determine whether these tests would have actually amounted to enough evidence to prosecute the case in court.