What To Do If You’re Stopped For A Prescription-Related DUI In Utah

If Someone Has Actually Followed The Rules And Taken Their Prescription As They Were Told To, Can They Still Be Charged With A DUI, Even If There’s No Evidence Of Alcohol?

Yes, they can still be charged with a DUI if they’ve taken their medication as prescribed. They can be charged, but whether or not they’ll be convicted is another matter. Police officers will arrest on a minimal amount of evidence, and the lab will come back and say something was in the blood — some kind of medication. Whether or not they’re convicted, though, is a little bit of a different story.

The blood test might come back and say that the driver had a therapeutic range. They’ll say the detection limits are this for this drug, and the therapeutic range would be this, and the toxic range would be this. If they’re within the therapeutic range, they’re taking the medication as they’ve been prescribed, and they’re doing everything the doctor has told them to do, the medication may still cause them to be incapable of safely operating their vehicle. Maybe the doctor didn’t prescribe the right amount or the pharmacy gave them a 50 mg pill instead of a 20 mg pill, and even though they were doing exactly what they said, it rendered them incapable of safely operating their vehicle, and that’s evidenced by an accident of some sort. They might have a little fender bender or veer off the road into a ditch or something. In that case, they can still be charged with the DUI.

Should Someone Ever Admit To An Officer At The Scene That They Were Taking A Prescription Medication? You Always Think, “Honesty Is The Best Policy,” And That Type Of Thing. What Do You Recommend?

I recommend that they do not reveal anything that they have been taking to the officer. It’s the officer’s job to find out if there’s impairment. If the person tells them they are on this type of medication, then that’s probably going to be enough, along with some of the other field sobriety tests, to arrest them. I wouldn’t say that I was on any medication if I were them. I would advise them to exercise their right to remain silent because they don’t have to provide that information. The only situation that I could think of where I would tell the officer that I was on something is if I felt like I was getting ready to die from an overdose or something and that they need to give me an anti-drug to stop it. I would never admit that you’ve been prescribed any medication.

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