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It’s a common misconception that all suspects charged with DUIs have been drinking and driving, or is under the influence of illegal drugs. Despite this shared belief, there have been numerous cases of charged DUIs where the suspect in question was driving under the influence of their own over-the-counter medications or prescriptions. In Phoenix, AZ, we have very strict, no-tolerance DUI laws that prohibit the use of any medications, drugs, or alcoholic substance while operating a vehicle. In fact, there are over 350 medications listed in Arizona that warn against operating a vehicle under their influence.
For example, some common over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl and Nyquil are notorious for their drowsy side effects that can give a person the same slow reaction time as they would get under the influence of alcohol. Prescription medicines like Xanax, Ambien, or even medications for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, and more are found on that very same list. While these drugs serve a legitimate medical purpose and may not necessarily impact the user in this way, if the medication is found in your system, it qualifies as an automatic DUI, regardless of the conscious state that you’re in.
The first thing anyone should ever do in this circumstance is to reach out to The Weingart Firm for your free case consultation so we can look over your case and lay out all of your legal options for you. We will also explain what to expect during your case or trial, go over all of your paperwork with you, explain the process, and provide you with legal advice. If you decide to hire Mr. Weingart, you can rest assured that you are working with a DUI law professional that has been practicing for over 35 years.
Depending on the situation, some suspects may only be charged with a DUI with consequences of some tickets and fines. For others, if they have been charged with “Arizona Extreme” or Aggravated DUI, the police often will exercise their option to impound your vehicle for up to 30 days. How can this happen? Upon the scene of the crime, if the suspect agrees to a portable breath test and fails, the police have every right to make the arrest and impound the vehicle. However, if the suspect exercises their right to refuse a roadside breath test, the police cannot impound the vehicle and someone you trust can bring it home for you. If your car has been impounded, you will need a relative such as a spouse to retrieve the vehicle.
Your license would also be suspended immediately. For any DUI charge, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will quickly issue a 90-day license suspension. An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is also another mandatory penalty issued by the state of Arizona to ensure that the driver is not under the influence before starting the vehicle.
If you have been recently convicted of a DUI while under the influence of an over-the-counter medication or prescription medication, The Weingart Firm can help guide you through the process and assist you in your case. Please send us the details of your case so we can evaluate it and get back to you immediately so we can begin your case. For any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call our office in Tempe, AZ. We look forward to hearing from you!