Your life may be very difficult without your prescription medications. However, The Ohio Department of Health reports that prescription drug overdose has increased sharply over the last two decades. As a result, police are actively on the lookout for drivers under the influence of these powerful prescription drugs.
Just like when people drive under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs, a prescription drug OVI can seriously complicate your life. So if you are arrested in the Sandusky area for driving while under the influence of prescription medication, it’s important to consult a defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., L.P.A. to speak with an experienced Ohio defense attorney. Our legal team has represented many clients in similar circumstances and secured favorable results in all manner of OVI cases. For a free, initial consultation, call (419) 625-7770 today.
You Can Be Arrested For a Prescription Drug OVI
Many people consider OVIs to apply only to drunk drivers. However, Ohio’s Revised Code § 4511.19 does not limit OVIs to alcohol. An OVI arrest can happen when a driver is under the influence of any substance, and that includes prescription drugs.
Being pulled over for suspected OVI can be stressful. Officers will look for physical signs of impairment due to your medication use. Roadside sobriety tests often include:
- Walk and turn – Asking a driver to walk and turn on command can help officers know if the driver is intoxicated.
- Horizontal gaze – You may be asked to slowly move your eyes back and forth horizontally. An inability to do this without flinching can be a sign of physical impairment.
- Standing on one leg – Failure to successfully stand on one leg can show police that a driver’s balance is affected by prescription medication.
How Prescription Drugs Impair Your Ability to Drive
Prescription drugs are generally very powerful substances that greatly impact your body. Many of these medications come with warnings that they are not to be consumed while driving or operating machinery. Unfortunately, people often underestimate the potency of prescription medication. The symptoms of prescription drugs can suddenly kick in, and driving safely might all of a sudden become impossible. Some of the symptoms of prescription medication that can distract you from driving include:
- Blurred vision
- Aches and pain, especially in your head
- Greatly reduced mobility
- Difficulty maintaining hand-eye coordination
- Digestion issues
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) Penalties
Drugged driving is illegal in Ohio. This applies to illegal substances or any measurable legal drug or medication if it impairs your ability to drive. This could lead to your arrest for a DUID, punishable in the same ways that any other DUI charge would be.
A first-time OVI in Ohio involving prescription drugs can land you in jail for anywhere between three days and six months. You also will have your license suspended and owe thousands in fines and court costs.
A Lawyer Can Help with an OVI Involving Prescription Drugs
It’s important to have an OVI defense attorney working for you as soon as possible. Having your attorney at the arraignment can help identify and challenge the evidence involved.
Unlike with alcohol, drivers are not subject to a legal blood content limit for most prescription drugs. This does not allow the prosecution to prove your impairment by simply pointing out the percentage of medication that was present in your blood when you were arrested. Instead, they must prove your intoxication through your actions and behavior.
Our attorneys have defended many Ohio residents against OVI charges. We understand how the prosecution will approach your case, and while every arrest is unique, some of the most successful defenses against OVI include:
- The sobriety test was improperly executed – Police are supposed to be trained to accurately conduct field sobriety tests. Failing to do so properly can result in mistakes that can harm innocent drivers.
- Lab samples were tainted – Lab tests on blood or urine must be done properly. Tainted samples will return false data.
- Officers lacked due cause to stop you – Police need a reasonable suspicion of a crime in order to stop and arrest you. Your civil rights may have been violated if you were detained improperly.
Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., L.P.A. Can Help You
An arrest for OVI in Ohio is very serious. You will face jail time and a permanent mark on your record. It’s important to quickly seek legal counsel if you or a loved one are in the position. Law enforcement frequently arrests drivers who seem impaired due to prescription drug use, but a mistake with your medicine shouldn’t define the rest of your life.
You deserve the best possible outcome. Contact Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., L.P.A. today. Call (419) 625-7770 or contact us online for a free, initial consultation. We’ll explain your rights and options.