Many people mistakenly believe that DUI and DWI are the same charges, and that they are both alcohol related charges. It’s easy to see why these mistakes are made, as most of these cases are indeed alcohol related. However, prescribed and over the counter drugs could easily result in DUI or DWI charges. Here is a guide for nonalcohol related driving while under the influence charges.
Illegal Drugs That Lead to DUI
While medical cannabis was legalized in 2014, it is still a crime to drive in the state of Maryland when mental or physical faculties are impaired. As such, driving while impaired by medical cannabis can lead to a DUI charge.
Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs That Could Lead to DUI
- Muscle relaxers
- Anxiety medications
- ADHD drugs
- Sleep aids
- Cough medications
- Cold or flu medications, such as NyQuil
- Albuterol (medication found in inhalers)
- Prescription painkillers
Each of these drugs, whether prescribed or over the counter, have the potential to cause a loss of balance or difficulty following officer instructions when paired with the anxiety caused by a traffic stop.
The state of Maryland holds drivers responsible for taking the effects of consumed medications into account before operating a motor vehicle. As such, we recommend always thoroughly reading drug warning labels or checking with your doctor if you are unsure about the effects of a drug.
Are Exceptions Ever Made?
While drivers are held responsible for their actions, there are cases that may cause a reconsideration for the charges. For a DUI conviction to be placed on a driver’s record, they must have displayed an intent for the act. However, if an individual has been using a medication for an extended period with no history of complications, only to be charged with DUI, it may be worth digging a little deeper. Perhaps a temporary change in homeostasis caused an unusual reaction to the medicine, directly causing the driving behavior that led to the DUI. Clearly, such an event is not intentional.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help Fighting Your DUI Charge
If you are searching for the right DUI or DWI defense attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. We are committed to using our experience along with facts from your specific case in order to achieve the result you deserve. Our experienced legal team is looking forward to working with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.