Search Site
Menu
Prescription drug DUI in New York

Drivers in New York state know they can face arrest and prosecution if they drive when taking illegal drugs or with a high blood alcohol content. However, contrary to the belief of many, proving you took a legal, properly prescribed medication may not get you off the hook if the officer believes taking it impaired your ability to drive.

Generally, in a DWI case based on prescription medication, prosecutors need to show you took the medication, and it affected your ability to drive. If you face charges, it is important not to give up just because you know chemical tests show you ingested the drug. Your attorney can discuss with you in deeper detail whether the facts support the allegation that you could not drive safely.

Staying safe

One way to steer clear of a prescription drug DUI stop in the first place is to be careful when you take needed medication. If your meds have a warning label telling you not to operate heavy machinery, this includes driving a car. Likewise, if your doctor or pharmacist mentions a likelihood of side effects that could make driving unsafe, the law will likely hold you responsible for ignoring these warnings.

Common types of drugs that often affect important physical and mental functions include a wide variety of painkillers, sleep medication and certain anti-anxiety drugs. Side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, blurry vision, lack of focus and delayed physical responses.

Some people also experience rare side effects from medications that may not typically affect driving ability. Some effects can happen due to an interaction with other medications. People taking some medications may also need to avoid alcohol altogether, as even very small amounts can amplify the side effects.

How police officers determine impairment

Initially, police officers determine medication-based impairment based on behavioral cues as well as information you give them. Police officers may receive some training in recognizing impairment, but they are not doctors. They may not have the capacity to state that symptoms they observe, such as shakiness or slow speech, are specifically the result of your consumption of medication. They also use field sobriety tests; however, many people fail those due to other factors, including the presence of the condition they need the meds for in the first place. Chemical testing reveals the presence of the drug but not its effect on driving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

James L. Riotto Attorney Photo
James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

  • What to do if pulled over for a DUI


    How to deal with a DWI traffic stop

    How you handle getting pulled over for a DUI/DWI can significantly affect your defense down the road. For instance, declining the officer's request to search your vehicle and avoiding specific answers when asked about any substances you may have consumed could help you when combating DUI/DWI charges in court.
    READ MORE
Reviews and Ratings
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I was extremely pleased with Mr. Riotto, his office staff, and the results he achieved. I would highly recommend him.

    Read more

    Joseph Campanelli

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Having never received a traffic/speeding ticket, and as a busy professional not having the time to spend going to court to contest it, I did a fair amount of searching for a firm that would have the background and experience that could best represent...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I was referred to the Riotto firm by an out-of-town attorney My traffic case was professionally handled with an OUTSTANDING result, much better than I expected. I'm very grateful to the team at The Law Office of James L. Riotto and recommend them h...

    Read more

    John Cook

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I have worked with Riotto Law Firm several times and I have been pleased with the results they have been able to secure for me. They are professional and pleasant to work with and have saved me a lot of money and heartache with traffic tickets. I wo...

    Read more

    Mary Beth Ransom

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Riotto made me feel at ease from the start. He always had my best interests in mind and worked hard to drive the best possible outcome. His communication and professionalism were outstanding.

    Read more

    Client

See all reviews
Featured Article
  • The Top Criminal Defense Lawyers in Rochester.

    Handpicked Top 3 Criminal Defense Lawyers in Rochester, New York. Our 50-Point Inspection includes everything from checking reviews, ratings, reputation, history, complaints, satisfaction, trust and cost to the general excellence. You deserve only the best!

    VIEW ARTICLE
Contact us

Quick Contact Form