Alcohol and hard drugs aren’t the only substances that can land you a DWI conviction. Driving under the influence of many prescription drugs can also carry the same penalties.
Minnesota Statute 169A.20 defines “driving while impaired” to include driving under the influence of…
- Any amount of controlled substance classified as Schedule I or II;
- A hazardous substance that affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles in a way that impairs the ability to drive or operate a motor vehicle.
Many prescription drugs contain substances classified by the federal government as Schedule II:
- Codeine (Tylenol-3 and 4)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
- Fentanyl (Sublimaze, Actiq)
- Amphetamine (Adderall, Dexedrine)
- Methyphenidate (Ritalin)
- Lisdexamphetamine (Vyvanse)
Many of these drugs are routinely prescribed by doctors. But, a person can still be charged with a DWI even if they are only taking their prescribed amount.
It is difficult to discern which prescription drugs qualify as hazardous, and many drivers may have a hard time recognizing if their nervous system, brain, or muscular functions are impaired by a given drug. Not all prescription drugs that cause impairment are marked with a caution to not drive or operate a vehicle.
There are many factors that may influence a prescription drug DWI charge. Stay tuned for part 2 of our Prescription Drug DWI series, and remember— if you are faced with a prescription drug DWI…
- DO NOT submit to any field sobriety tests
- DO DEMAND to speak with your criminal defense attorney before answering ANY questions.
Read more about Prescription Drug DWI procedures and defenses.
U.S. Department of Justice DEA Office of Diversion Control
Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes