One of the many misconceptions about drugged driving arrests is that the person has to be under the influence of an illegal substance to get arrested. That simply is not true.
Any drug or medication, including those medications legally prescribed to you and/or purchased over-the-counter (OTC) that cause impairment while driving can lead to an arrest for drugged driving. Below is some important information on the subject.
Effects differ with dose and person
Someone living with a chronic pain condition may be on maintenance doses of opioid drugs and still be able to safely drive. Another person who is not used to opiate-based drugs but who was prescribed them for a fractured ankle might be completely impaired and unsafe to drive.
Diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in the OTC drug Benadryl, can cause intense drowsiness. Just because it is a non-prescription medication doesn’t mean that it’s safe to swallow a couple of pills and get behind the wheel.
Arrested now, explain later
The police pulled you over because they noticed you were driving poorly. They don’t know whether you were drinking, smoking pot, doing heroin or just had a bad reaction to your allergy pills.
But the time to sort all that out is later. At the time of the arrest, admit nothing to the police and assert your right to remain silent. Be cooperative, however. Resisting arrest only adds another charge to your rap sheet and makes a bad impression on the judge.
Charges can sometimes be dismissed
Your Honolulu criminal defense attorney may be able to get the drugged driving charges dropped by the prosecutor. This might be the best possible resolution, especially if the arrest came about because of a mistake with a dose of medication you were not used to taking.
By working closely with your attorney, the two of you can craft a viable defense to the charges you face in court. Never assume that it is simply a misdemeanor and therefore not worthy of robust defense efforts. Even a single misdemeanor conviction can adversely affect many aspects of a person’s life, both now and in the future.