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Speaker 1
00;00;00;01 – 00;00;00;29
Hi, everyone. Did you know you can get a DUI while taking your prescribed medications? This is Christina Williams with Just Criminal Law.
Speaker 2
00;00;09;03 – 00;00;10;07
And David Maan, legal storytelling specialist. Really, you can get a DUI from taking something that isn’t, like, an intoxicating substance?
Speaker 1
00;00;17;08 – 00;00;17;25
Right. So I mean, there’s a metabolite that’s present in your blood at the time you’re driving. Now, whether or not you’re under the influence of, say, a pain medication, or you’re taking a medication, say, for, MS, if you have the metabolite in your system and you have an accident, even though you may not be intoxicated, or it may not be impairing you, you can still get charged with a DUI.
Speaker 2
00;00;47;01 – 00;00;48;08
Hmm. Okay. So are they all the same in the eyes of the law? Is it all the same? Some kind of drug is the same as any other kind of drug?
Speaker 1
00;00;56;17 – 00;00;57;22
No, they’re schedules. So you’ve got your schedule one controlled substances, which are all illegal. That’s going to be marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine. And so, if you have those in your system when you’re driving, you can get a DUI. Now, you may just have the metabolite in your system, and you may not be intoxicated. And even though you’ve taken an illegal controlled substance, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re guilty of a DUI. Then there’s the schedule two controlled substances, like your higher power pain medication, for instance. And somebody may be taking those prescriptions and they may not, in fact, intoxicate the person, whether the person developed a tolerance to them or whether they took them earlier in the day and they’re no longer affecting their ability to drive. The metabolie still might be present in the blood. And so those are your schedule two controlled substances.They’re addictive. And a lot of times, they’re pain medication. Then there’s your run-of-the-mill schedule three controlled substances. For example, if you’re taking them for a disease like MS. I had a client who had MS and was taking her prescribed medication. She, in fact, had to take it to drive. It was something that was required. She was better at operating a motor vehicle when she took her prescribed medication. However, because of her symptoms associated with MS, the officer mistook them as signs of intoxication. And so, she had the controlled substance in her system and they charged her with a DUI. And now we’re defending her.
Speaker 2
00;02;44;03 – 00;02;45;08
Hmm. Okay. So it’s like, preset in the system, but not necessarily making you intoxicated. And you’re following your doctor’s orders by taking this. So it seems like, in other videos we’ve talked about things similar to this and the rule is always, don’t talk to the police. Don’t say anything. It seems like this would be an exception. You’d say, “You know officer, I have these circumstances, there’s this condition. I’m taking my medication.” Is that what you should do here?
Speaker 1
00;03;12;03 – 00;03;12;18
Well, I mean, it seems like this MIGHT be an exception, but there is really never an exception to this rule, because I’ve seen people who engage with the officer, explain their situation, and the next thing you know, the officer is putting words in their mouth like, “Well, you had an accident. I mean, we can agree you had an accident and you’re taking a prescribed medication. Don’t you think that affected how you were driving?” And the person is just trying to explain themselves and get along, maybe acquiescing with the officer, saying, hoping, that the officer will sympathize with them and let them go on their way. When, in fact, if they say “Yes, you might be right,” all of a sudden they’ve made a statement against their interest and that can be used to help convict them. So even though it seems like a good idea, I still say Never Talk to the Police, if you’re being investigated.
Speaker 2
00;04;10;24 – 00;04;13;06
Just never talk. So would this be would this, if you took a couple of ibuprofen or something like that, is that something that can show up in your blood and cause this?
Speaker 1
00;04;22;27 – 00;04;24;20
No, they don’t test for those types of substances. We’re talking about controlled substances, strictly controlled substances. Not intoxicants, in this video. Now, there’s a whole ‘nother video we can do on intoxicants, but this is just related to controlled substances — that is, prescribed medication or your schedule one illegal controlled substances.
Speaker 2
00;04;48;14 – 00;04;50;26
Okay. So lots to keep track of. Probably need a lawyer for this, if it comes to that. So how might they get in touch with you?
Speaker 1
00;04;55;15 – 00;04;55;25
Sure. We’ll include a link in the description where they can call, text, or chat with a member of my team, any time, day or night. Here at Just Criminal Law, we know you only get one shot at justice. So make yours count!

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