DUI with prescription medication

You can be convicted of a DUI in Nevada for driving after taking your prescription medication, whether or not you have ingested any alcohol or illegal drugs.  Nevada law NRS 484C.110 makes it illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance.  Unlike alcohol or illegal drugs, there is no minimum or maximum amount of prescription medication that is allowed.  This means that you can be convicted of a DUI for having even the slightest amount of controlled substance in your blood. 

Most people are arrested for DUI with prescription medication based upon their admission to officers that they were taking the drug.  Sometimes, police see or locate a prescription drug bottle in the driver’s car which they will also use as evidence.  Regardless, DUI with prescription drug cases are proved by blood test results that show the amount and type of medication in your blood.

In DUI with prescription drug cases, the manner in which the field sobriety tests were conducted and your performance can be critical components of your defense.  Perhaps the officer wrote in the police report that you failed field sobriety tests because were unable to lift your leg, used your arms for balance, and/or improperly turned during testing.  Your inability to perform these maneuvers may be the precise result of the medical condition for which you are taking prescription medication.  In these types of cases, your medical records and pharmacy’s prescription printout can be critical to your defense.   

There are other issues and defenses that can be raised depending upon your specific medical condition and type of medication.  Call now to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to find out your options and start planning your defense.

NRS 484C.110  Unlawful acts; affirmative defense; additional penalty for violation committed in work zone. [Effective until the date of the repeal of the federal law requiring each state to make it unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater as a condition to receiving federal funding for the construction of highways in this State.]

      1.  It is unlawful for any person who:
      (a) Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
      (b) Has a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath; or
      (c) Is found by measurement within 2 hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 or more in his or her blood or breath, to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access.
      2.  It is unlawful for any person who:
      (a) Is under the influence of a controlled substance;
      (b) Is under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and a controlled substance; or
      (c) Inhales, ingests, applies or otherwise uses any chemical, poison or organic solvent, or any compound or combination of any of these, to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle, to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access. The fact that any person charged with a violation of this subsection is or has been entitled to use that drug under the laws of this State is not a defense against any charge of violating this subsection.

3.  It is unlawful for any person to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access with an amount of a prohibited substance in his or her blood or urine that is equal to or greater than:

Prohibited substance                                                 Urine Nanograms Per Milliliter Blood Nanograms Per Milliliter
(a) Amphetamine 500 100
(b) Cocaine   150 50
(c) Cocaine metabolite 150 50
(d) Heroin 2,000 50
(e) Heroin metabolite:    
     (1) Morphine 2,000 50
     (2) 6-monoacetyl morphine 10 10
(f) Lysergic acid diethylamide 25 10
(g) Marijuana 10 2
(h) Marijuana metabolite 15 5
(i) Methamphetamine 500 100
(j) Phencyclidine 25 10







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