The risks of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol are serious. Every day, more than 30 people die in DUI accidents across the United States. Although most of these accidents are due to the use of illicit drugs and alcohol, what most people don’t realize is that driving under the influence of prescription drugs is dangerous as well. Something as minor as starting a new prescription medication for pain, heart problems, or any other health issue can put others on the road in danger and you at-risk for trouble with the law. Here, we’ll discuss the details of DUIs in Louisiana and whether or not you can face charges for driving while on prescription drugs.
What are the Risks of Driving While on Prescription Drugs?
Prescription drugs have different effects on different people. How you might react to a specific medication might differ from how your neighbor reacts. Medications such as antidepressants, pain medications, antibiotics, insulin, anti-inflammatories, blood pressure medications, and more all can have serious side-effects. Common side-effects include:
- Heart issues
- …and more
In some situations, the side effects caused by prescription medications can be extremely similar or even worse than driving drunk. Any time you are placed on a new prescription, it is important to discuss the potential side effects with your doctor.
What Drugs are Prohibited in Louisiana?
The state of Louisiana has a zero tolerance law when it comes to driving under the influence. This means, any person driving under the influence of any Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V drugs can be charged with a DUI. This includes common prescription and over the counter medications such as:
What most people don’t realize is that in the state of Louisiana you can also be charged with a DUI for operating a motor vehicle with more than 200 milligrams of Dextromethorphan — commonly known as Robitussin — in your system. Any person who causes damage to another person while driving under the influence can not only face criminal charges but also a lawsuit from the other party.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, any person charged with a DUI can face serious consequences. Penalties for a first-time offender include fines up to $1000, mandatory driver’s license suspension, and up to 6 months in jail. Individuals who have faced multiple DUI offenses will face more serious penalties including:
- Up to 5 years incarceration
- Up to $2000 in fines
- Mandatory 3-years driver’s license suspension
If you have been charged with a DUI in Louisiana, you need trusted legal counsel on your side. With the right attorney you have a fighting chance at mitigating your charges and reducing the penalties you face.
Knowledgeable Drug Defense Attorneys in Louisiana
In the state of Louisiana, reputable drug defense lawyers can be found at The John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm. With more than 25 years of experience, Eric Johnson and his team of attorneys understand how to create a winning defense strategy. They take the time to get to know each of their clients individually and commit themselves to investigating each aspect of your case to present a strong argument in court.
Drug possession charges are serious. Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney with only a handful of trials under his belt to protect your rights. Trust a seasoned drug lawyer in Louisiana who is a member of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.