DUI for Prescription Drugs: What is the Penalty?
Legal Defense for New Mexico Drivers Accused of DUI for Prescription Drugs
You know it is illegal to drive while intoxicated with alcohol, but did you know that driving while under the influence includes medications? Whether it is a prescription or over-the-counter medication, if you do not use them according to the instructions – or if you abuse them – and drive, you could be arrested for a DUI.
New Mexico Enforces a Strict Drugged Driving Law
Under NM Statute Section 66-8-102B, it is illegal for people under the influence of a drug that renders them incapable of safe driving to operate a motor vehicle. It is illegal, then, to drive while incapacitated by any drug – regardless of whether it is a prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal substance.
In these cases, there is no fixed blood concentration amount as with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges involving alcohol. So, even a small amount, but enough to hinder driving abilities, could result in a DUI. Determining if you are impaired depends on the circumstances, and may involve the arresting officer’s word against yours.
Drugs that Are Prohibited
New Mexico has drugged driving laws in place to protect the public. Any controlled substance with a federal listing or that is an illegal substance is considered illegal if it renders you incapable of driving safely. There is no specific list of prohibited drugs, because even over-the-counter medication could impair a person’s safe driving.
You cannot claim the defense that you had the right to use the controlled or prescription medication, either. Even with a valid prescription, you are legally responsible for driving safely; therefore, using a drug that impairs your driving skills is criminal, no matter the medical condition it treats.
Penalties for Being Convicted of Drugged Driving
If you are arrested for drugged driving, you will be charged with DUI. With this charge, you face the standard DUI penalties, which can include revocation of your driver’s license, higher insurance premiums, jail time, and court fines. If you have previous offenses, you could face even harsher penalties.
Speak with a DUI Attorney in NM Today
If you have been arrested for drugged driving, regardless of the substance, contact the attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices. We understand how confusing and scary this time can be, which is why we want to help you receive the best possible outcome for your pending criminal charges.
Speak with our attorneys today, and let us review your case with no obligation to see if there is a defense strategy that could positively impact your case.
Schedule your appointment now by calling 505-200-2982 or requesting more information online.