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Can I Be Charged With a DUI for Driving on Prescription Medication in Illinois?

Though you may know that driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs is a dangerous crime, you may not think twice before taking a pill prescribed by your doctor before getting behind the wheel. However, it’s vital to understand that these medications, while legally prescribed, can still warrant a DUI charge in Illinois. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances, especially if you take prescription medication. You’ll also learn why you must connect with a Peoria DUI lawyer if facing charges.

If I’m Taking Prescription Medication, Can I Still Face a DUI?

Even if you are taking a legally prescribed drug, it’s vital to understand that if it inhibits your driving ability, you can face a DUI charge. Generally, if the officer can prove the drug impaired your ability to safely operate a vehicle, you can expect a driving under the influence offense. This is also the case for over-the-counter medication. Many people assume that having a written prescription from their doctor will absolve them of the crime, but this is not the case.

Unfortunately, many medications have side effects that can inhibit a person’s ability to drive. These include anti-anxiety pills, anti-depressants, pain relievers, antihistamines, and cold medication. In many instances, these medications can produce side effects such as drowsiness, slowed reflexes, and blurry vision. It is important to note that because each person is different and takes a different dosage, medications can impact people differently.

If given a prescription, be sure to talk with your doctor about potential side effects. You should avoid driving until you understand how these medications impact you.

What Penalties Can I Face in Illinois?

If you are found under the influence of any drug, whether it is legally prescribed or not, you can face significant consequences, as this is a Class A misdemeanor. In Illinois, the penalties for a first-offense DUI include the loss of your driver’s license for up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, and the potential for one year in prison.

In the event you are pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of medication, you should invoke your right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions until you have consulted an attorney. However, you should comply, as failure to do so can lead to additional charges. Instead, follow their directions and ask for your attorney.

When you’re in legal trouble, the team at Giraudo Law is ready to assist you. We understand how life-altering criminal charges can be. As such, our team is committed to fighting for the best possible outcome. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case with a dedicated member of our firm today.

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