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Illinois Prescription Drug DUI

In Illinois, driving under the influence of any drug, including valid prescription medication, is a fast track to receiving an Illinois prescription drug DUI. Like drunk driving drivers are held accountable for any impairment resulting from their medication. The loss of driving privileges and penalties are the same as driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

The Illinois State Police have changed drug law guidelines to detect and prosecute prescription drug DUI cases. Police officers ask specific medication questions and conduct field sobriety tests. Impaired and unsafe driving while taking a legal drug can lead to citations, drug charges, and arrests.

It is recommended that drivers understand the effects of their medication on their ability to drive, consult with their doctor about the type of drug and combination of drugs, and follow their instructions accordingly.

Mixing different medications can be dangerous and increase impairment risks. Never drive under the influence of any substance, including illegal street drugs and prescription drugs.

If you're facing prescription drug criminal charges, it may be helpful to seek assistance from an experienced DUI defense attorney at Chicago DUI Defense.

Can You Get a DUI for Prescription Medication?

Individuals who have medical conditions should be aware of the potential hazards associated with driving while taking prescription drugs. There has been an increase in prescriptions, which has resulted in a higher likelihood of impaired driving due to medication.

Generally, an individual can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a certain limit. However, depending on the jurisdiction, law enforcement also has the authority to issue DUI charges based solely on drug levels in the blood even if it is a legally prescribed medication. Many states have "zero tolerance" laws that deem any use of certain controlled substances while operating a vehicle as illegal and worthy of sanctions; this includes powerful lawful prescription medications containing barbituric acids such as anti-anxiety medications, opiates, depressant substances, and those used to treat ADHD.

a row of prescription pill bottles

There are concerns about non-prescription drugs, like marijuana, and over-the-counter medicines, such as cold and allergy products. These substances have medical benefits however they can leave a person incapable of driving. Antihistamines in some products can cause drowsiness and impair coordination and reaction times for safe driving. If you drive while impaired by any medicine, whether prescribed or not, you could face legal consequences if caught by law enforcement. It is crucial to be aware of the effects and presence of prescription drugs and nonprescription drugs in your blood before driving.

What Prescription Medications May Lead to a DUI?

In Illinois, driving while under the influence (DUI) of prescription drugs is a severe offense. State law drug enforcement administration holds that driving while impaired due to any drug, including prescription medicines, can lead to DUI charges. Several prescription drug products, such as opioids and sedatives, can impair a person's ability to drive safely. The Food and Drug Administration has identified some commonly prescribed drugs that can cause impairment in drivers:

Opioids: These are a class of drugs used to treat pain and include morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine.

Benzodiazepines: These are a class of drugs used to treat anxiety, such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan.

Understanding the potential impact of prescription medications on driving is crucial. Stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall, commonly prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy, may induce hazardous side effects such as dizziness, agitation, and blurred vision, which can hinder a driver's capacity to safely drive a vehicle.

Penalties For a Prescription Drug DUI

The penalties for a prescription drug DUI in Illinois can be severe. Depending on the circumstances, you may face fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and more. Understanding these potential penalties is important so that you can make sure to take steps to protect your rights if you are ever charged with a drug DUI.

If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer for reasonable suspicion and convicted of driving under the influence of a dangerous drug in Illinois, you may face the following penalties:

• Fines up to $2,500 and/or jail time of up to one year.

• Driver’s license suspension for up to six months.

• Completion of DUI school or other drug education classes.

• Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Additionally, if you are convicted of a Prescription Drug DUI in Illinois, your insurance rates may increase and you could face additional penalties such as property damage or injury to another person.

Defense Strategies for an Illinois Prescription Drug DUI Charge

When facing a driving under the influence of drugs charge or driving under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol in Illinois, several absolute defense strategies can be employed. The most important step to take is to consult with an experienced prescription drug possession attorney who can evaluate the specific facts surrounding your case and advise you on what defense strategies may be available.

a man sleeping after drinking and taking some prescription pills

You as a reasonable person can challenge the narcotic drug testing methods used by law enforcement during your arrest. The results of a field sobriety or breathalyzer test may be inaccurate due to various factors. Your lawyer can determine if any errors were made that could dismiss your case. Another option is to challenge the accuracy of any bodily substance blood or urine test results. These tests can produce unreliable chemical structure results due to improper sample collection, limited quantities, or contamination. An experienced defense lawyer can help if you are facing a Prescription Drug DUI charge in Illinois.

How an Attorney Can Help With Your Charge

Being charged with DUI-related prescription drugs in DuPage County, Cook County, and Kane County Illinois can be overwhelming. Knowing your rights and the laws surrounding this type of offense is crucial.

Chicago DUI Defense offers legal representation with experienced attorneys. Your case will be reviewed by your attorney to determine the best action. Legal advice and options will be explained to you. Your attorney can negotiate with prosecutors for reduced or dismissed charges. Contact Chicago DUI Defense today for the best defense.

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