We’ve already covered the laws and procedures of a Prescription Drug DWI charge. Now let’s take a look at the possible defenses to a Prescription Drug DWI.
A DWI charge carries the same consequences whether the driver is under the influence of alcohol or a prescription drug. However, because of the tentative legal status of many prescription drugs, the defenses for a prescription DWI charge vary greatly from a standard alcohol DWI.
First and foremost, there is an issue of medical necessity. Although the law specifies the presence of Schedule I and II drugs as prohibited while driving, many of the Schedule II drugs are common and necessary prescriptions. If a person can prove they were taking the correct dosage of a legally prescribed drug, it could be a viable defense in a DWI case.
When a blood or urine sample is tested for controlled substances, the state lab does not provide the prosecution with a quantified concentration. The test results only indicate the presence of a substance in the bloodstream, not the amount. An attorney can request custody of that sample, and then send it to be retested for the concentration at an independent lab. That concentration can then be used to determine when the subject last took the drug, or whether the subject was taking the proper amount.
By studying the ways various drugs metabolize in the body, it is now possible to pinpoint when a person ingested the drug. An attorney can then prove that, while trace amounts of a drug were present in the body, the person was not under the influence at the time of the arrest.
The standard DWI defenses may also apply. If there is an issue with samples, testing, the arrest procedure, or any other component of the DWI process, it may be cause to dismiss the charges.
If you are facing charges for a prescription drug DWI, contact an experienced DWI criminal defense attorney right away.