In New Jersey, you don’t need to be driving drunk to get a DUI – in fact, the prescription medications in your cabinet could lead to a DUI arrest. DUI charges are not just for alcohol intoxication. Courts consider the act of driving while impaired due to drug intoxication to be grounds for a DUI charge. And this isn’t just limited to illegal drug intoxication – drug intoxication includes intoxication due to drugs legally in your possession – including over-the-counter and prescription medications.
If you have found yourself facing DUI charges or have concerns that your medication could lead to you facing a DUI charge in the future, our New Jersey DUI lawyer is here to defend and support you. The attorneys at HCK have extensive knowledge of the laws impacting DUI cases. We strive to provide the best defense possible for our clients and also seek to empower them with insight into how and why a DUI arrest could occur.
DUI Arrests Are Not Only For Drunk Driving
You don’t have to be drunk, or even drinking alcohol, to receive a DUI charge in New Jersey. If an officer determines that your ability to drive is impaired due to drugs, you can be arrested for DUI, regardless of how much alcohol may or may not be in your system.
New Jersey law enforcement can use a variety of methods to determine whether a driver is impaired for purposes of a DUI arrest. Many methods do not involve breathalyzers or tests for the detection of alcohol.
Your Prescription Could Be a Narcotic
If your medication has side effects that could impact your ability to drive, such as drowsiness or dizziness, you could be running the risk of a DUI charge. Under New Jersey law, being "under the influence" means that mental and/or physical abilities are substantially impacted by alcohol or drugs -- which can include your medication.
Even though it is legally prescribed to you, your prescription can be determined to be a narcotic – a substance impacting mind and body – for purposes of a DUI arrest. If you have any concern that your medication could alter your state of mind or body to the point that it impacts your ability to operate a vehicle, speak with your doctor and play it safe – avoid driving when affected by your medication.
There are steps you can take to prevent a medication-related DUI from ever happening. First, pay close attention to the labels on both prescription and over-the-counter medications. These often will provide warnings about potentially sedating or impairing effects. Second, talk to your doctor about your prescriptions and learn about potential side effects. Third, if you are taking multiple medications, make sure to consult with a pharmacist or doctor regarding potential interactions that could cause impairment.
Speak to a New Jersey DUI Attorney Today
The long-term consequences of a DUI can be devastating. This is why it is necessary to obtain the best defense possible and to understand all options and potential consequences for your unique case. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending DUI cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.