While street drugs are obviously dangerous and potentially addictive, many prescription drugs are similarly poised. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse confirms how serious the abuse of prescription drugs has become in the United States. Driving while on prescription medication can land you a DWI (driving while intoxicated) and if you need assistance, contact a New Jersey attorney.
Prescription Drugs and DWI
Those prescription drugs most closely associated with New Jersey DWIs include opioids, sedatives, and stimulants. Doctors usually prescribe opioids for relief from serious pain. They are highly addictive and include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. Sedatives, such as valium and Xanax, often treat anxiety and panic attacks. Stimulants, which include Adderall and Concerta, help to boost wakefulness and focus. Driving while under the influence of any of these prescription categories can lead to DWI charges.
Prescription Drug Abuse
The number of charges for driving while under the influence of drugs continues to rise in New Jersey. Prescription drugs can impair your ability to drive safely, and that makes the roads more dangerous for everyone. The American Public Health Association provides statistics that estimate drivers with drugs in their systems are involved in roughly 4,000 traffic fatalities every year. While not every state requires drug testing after fatal accidents, statistics from the states that do reveal that 47% of fatal accidents involve prescription-positive test results. The most commonly identified drugs are opioids and other painkillers.
Every state sets strict parameters for driving while under the influence of alcohol, and the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is routinely 0.08. For prescription drugs, however, the rules are not as clear. There’s little data available to identify a correlation between the amount of a drug taken and its effect on driving. This makes it very difficult to set specific guidelines. While a driver’s BAC can be tested reasonably easily and accurately, testing for prescription drug usage is far more ambiguous.
If you take a prescription medication that falls into any of these categories, protect yourself from possible DWI charges by sticking to your prescribed dosage and not using the medication for anything other than to treat pain. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about how your prescriptions could affect your driving. Pay close attention to any warning labels.
Charged with a Prescription Drug DWI in New Jersey? Call 732-238-8686 Today for More Information
If you drove while under the influence of a prescription medication and are now facing DWI charges, you need an experienced DWI lawyer. David C. Barry, Attorney at Law, has the skill and dedication to fight for your case’s best possible resolution. David will take the time to explain your rights, guide you through the process, and coordinate your comprehensive defense. If you’re facing a DWI, you need a skilled criminal defense New Jersey attorney. Contact or call David today at 732-238-8686.