Last updated on May 19, 2023

Six Things To Know About Prescription Drugs and Driving in Michigan

When it comes to prescription drugs and driving, there are several crucial factors that individuals in Michigan need to be aware of to ensure their safety and comply with the law. While prescription medications are often prescribed to treat various medical conditions, they can also have significant effects on a person’s ability to drive safely. Understanding the potential risks and legal implications of driving under the influence of prescription drugs is essential for residents of Michigan.

If you find yourself facing legal issues related to driving under the influence of prescription drugs, seeking the help of a skilled lawyer is crucial. At Michigan Defense Law, our team of experienced Michigan drug driving lawyers may be able to guide you through the legal process, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your situation. Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a consultation.

The offense of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs – or DUID – does not distinguish between prescription and non-prescription drugs. Just because you are taking a medication that was legally prescribed by a physician does not mean you are automatically immune from a DUID charge.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive:

  • With a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 percent if you are over 21 years old;
  • With a blood-alcohol level of 0.02 if you are under 21;
  • While intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs or some prescribed medications;
  • With any amount of cocaine or a Schedule 1 controlled substance in your body.

Criminal penalties may include incarceration, fines, probation and license suspension. For repeat offenses, the consequences are harsher and may result in lengthy jail time, loss of vehicle registration and a required interlock ignition device on your car.

Six Things To Know About Drugs and Driving in Michigan

  1. You can be convicted of a criminal offense of Operating with the Presence of Drugs, or OWPD, if you are driving with any illicit drug in your system. The state does not have to prove that you were “high” or that your driving was erratic in order to convict you.
  2. Everyone’s metabolism is different. It is difficult to predict the effect of drugs and medications on your ability to drive a motor vehicle.
  3. If you are taking a prescribed medication, read the warning label carefully. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether you will be able to safely get behind the wheel.
  4. Some drugs – such as antihistamines found in cold and allergy preparations, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and pain relievers – may cause drowsiness.
  5. Diet pills and stimulants such as caffeine, ephedrine, or pseudoephedrine may cause excitability and jumpiness.
  6. Taking drugs in combination can be especially dangerous. Know the contents and side effects of any drugs you take. Be sure it is safe to drive when you use them.

If you are charged with an alcohol or drug-related driving offense, an experienced Michigan DUI lawyer can explain your legal rights and options in greater detail.

Six Things To Know About Drugs and Driving in Michigan Details
OWPD convictions without proving impairment or erratic driving. Conviction for Operating with the Presence of Drugs (OWPD) is possible even without proving impairment or erratic driving.
Individual variations in drug effects on driving. The impact of drugs on driving varies due to individual differences in metabolism.
Consult healthcare professionals about prescribed medications. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist to determine if your prescribed medication may affect your ability to drive safely.
Drowsiness caused by certain medications. Some medications, including antihistamines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and pain relievers, can cause drowsiness.
Excitability and jumpiness from diet pills and stimulants. Stimulants like caffeine, ephedrine, or pseudoephedrine can lead to increased excitability and restlessness.
Dangers of combining drugs and their effects on driving. Combining drugs can have unpredictable effects and significantly impair driving abilities.
Michigan DUI attorney

Can You Drive on Xanax

Even if you have a legitimate prescription for a controlled substance such as Xanax, Vicodin, or Adderall, you can still face charges for driving under the influence of drugs. Just like with driving under the influence of alcohol, the prosecution needs to provide evidence that the drug impaired your ability to drive.

When it comes to the charge of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), there is no differentiation made between prescribed and non-prescribed substances. Simply having a valid prescription from your doctor does not automatically shield you from potential charges.

The consequences for such offenses can include imprisonment, fines, probation, and the suspension of your driver’s license. For repeat offenders, the penalties become more severe, potentially resulting in longer jail sentences, the revocation of vehicle registration, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your car.

An experienced lawyer can provide essential legal advice and represent you in court, guiding you through the complex legal processes associated with DUID charges. At Michigan Defense Law, our team of Michigan defense attorneys may be able to challenge the presented evidence and potentially negotiate reduced penalties or even have the charges dismissed in certain cases. Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to learn more about how we can help.

Posted in: Drug Crimes, DWI
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