Most drivers know that getting behind the wheel and alcohol impairment can lead to a DUI arrest, but so can any type of drug intoxication. Even prescription drug use can result in a driving under the influence or physical control of vehicle under the influence charge in Washington. Because of the difficulties that are associated with detecting and regulating prescription drug intoxication, this area of DUI does not receive a lot of attention. But police feel that this is a growing area of concern, and every year more and more accidents result from prescription drug use.
The New York Times reported some of the problems with prescription drug DUIs. They argue that it is hard for lawmakers to state legal limits for prescription drug intoxication but this is difficult because drugs can linger in a user's body for days or even weeks after they have been consumed. While those accused of alcohol DUI can be evaluated by breathalyzer tests, police must rely on physical factors and field sobriety tests in order to determine whether a driver is under the influence of prescription drugs. This means that anyone can be accused of driving under the influence of Rx drugs if law enforcement believe they see signs such as red eyes, confusion or drowsiness. The article also states the following:
Even the prevalence of drug-impaired driving is unknown, since many states combine the arrest data with that for drunken driving.
One survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2007 found that, of 5,900 nighttime drivers surveyed in the United States, about 16.3% were found to have tested positive for legal or illegal drugs.
Even though prescription drug charges can be hard to prove, police are still quick to make arrests. If you have been charged with prescription drug DUI in Seattle, make sure that you call a defense attorney right away. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you fight your charges and avoid a conviction.