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When your doctor prescribes medication, you assume that it’s perfectly safe and legal to do so and resume your normal daily activities — including driving. But can taking a drug prescribed by your doctor get you in trouble if you get behind the wheel of a car? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Prescription DUID?

A prescription DUID is like a DWI, only the substance causing the driver to become impaired isn’t alcohol, it’s a prescription medicine. Medicines like Oxycodone, Valium, and other controlled drugs have the potential to cause severe impairment. They’re often purchased on the street to “get high,” like other illicit drugs, and can result in blurred vision, dizziness, loss of hand-eye coordination, and other symptoms that make it impossible to safely operate a motor vehicle.

What If Your Medicine Is Legal?

If your medicine was ordered by your doctor and filled at your pharmacy, it’s hard to imagine that driving while taking it could land you in hot water. However, for certain medicines, the law treats driving under their influence as seriously as it treats drinking and driving. Some cities in Maryland may have Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), or law enforcement officers who are specially trained to spot the signs of drug intoxication.

Defenses to a DUID Charge

There are many defenses to a DUI charge and they’re often similar to those used for a DWI. Your attorney may argue that there’s a lack of evidence against you to prove that you were impaired at the time the officer arrested you. Since a breathalyzer test doesn’t exist for drugs, an arrest is based largely on the subjective observations and assumptions of the officer on the scene. Your lawyer may also be able to argue that even though you did take the medication, you weren’t impaired by it and your ability to safely drive was not compromised. Which defense strategy your attorney chooses depends largely on the unique circumstances of your case.

When to Call a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re been arrested for a DUI of drugs, your future is in jeopardy. It’s critical that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Criminal defense and DWI lawyer Richard Brueckner understands the key differences between DWI cases and being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Call now for a consultation to discuss your case at (410) 430-1464.