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Six Things To Know About Prescription Drugs and Driving in Michigan

Posted On: May 07, 2013  
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Six Things To Know About Prescription Drugs and Driving in Michigan

Everyone knows that driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs is a crime in Michigan.

But did you know it is also against the law to drive after taking certain prescribed medicines?image

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.

Source: Substance Abuse and Driving http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_8665_9070-24488–,00.html

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