You did not think much of the police cruiser in your rearview mirror. Sure, you think, you might be feeling a little drowsy. But you think you can drive well. You did not drink anything at the party earlier this evening; in fact, you recall not taking much of anything. Except there was that over-the-counter sleep aid you remember taking because you were so anxious and “wound up.” As the police officer pulls you over, you wonder to yourself, “Certainly I cannot be in any trouble, can I?”
Kentucky Prescription Drug DUI
Unfortunately, any driver in Kentucky who finds him- or herself in the scenario described above may very well be in trouble. That is because two Kentucky laws criminalize this very sort of behavior. Most Kentuckians would acknowledge that they cannot drive with an alcohol concentration that is either “over the limit” or that impairs their ability to drive. Kentucky DUI law, though, also penalizes drivers who have certain drugs in their systems, regardless of whether these drugs are prescribed or not. Not only this, but it is a crime to have any other “substance” in your system that impairs your driving ability.
How Can a Substance Impair My Driving Ability?
You may be familiar with warning labels placed on the packaging of certain medicines. These labels warn you about the possible effects of the medication and tell you, for instance, that you should not drive after taking the medicine. For some individuals, even a seemingly benign medicine can cause them to become drowsy or not think properly. This can, in turn, lead to erratic driving. In such a case, it does not matter if the medicine is considered over-the-counter or prescription, nor does it matter how you came to take the medicine. It does not even matter for what condition you took the medicine. All that matters is that if you have any trace of substance in your bodily system, and you are found to be driving in an impaired manner, a Kentucky court can find you guilty.
“Per Se” Violations
Furthermore, under Kentucky law the presence of certain drugs in a person’s system within two hours of that person operating a vehicle is a “per se” DUI violation. This means that the prosecution does not have to show any evidence of impairment if the driver has any one of these substances in his or her body. Guilt can be established even if the person has a valid prescription for any of the following substances:
- Any Schedule I controlled substance (besides marijuana);
- Propoxyphene; and
Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC for Help
If you have been charged with a prescription drug DUI in Lexington, contact the experienced attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC right away. Although these are serious charges, there are defenses available. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can put our years of experience to work for you. Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC today at (859) 685-1021.