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Seattle Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer

Washington Prescription Drug DUI Laws

In Washington, there are several circumstances that can result in a DUI charge. According to RCW for 46.61.502 and RCW 46.61.504, a person is guilty of DUI if they are in actual physical control or are driving a vehicle under the influence of:

  • An intoxicating liquor
  • Marijuana
  • Any other type of drug

Many people think that this last item only refers to illegal drugs, but in fact, DUI laws in the State include any type of drug such as prescription drugs. A prescription drug DUI can have the same consequences as any other type of DUI offense.

RCW 46.61.540 states that the term “drug” used in DUI law refers to “those drugs and substances regulated by chapters 69.41 and 69.50 RCW and any chemical inhaled or ingested for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.” These chapters include those for prescription drugs and controlled substances. Basically, any type of prescription, illegal or over the counter drug that has been shown to cause side effects that could impair a person's ability to drive can lead to a DUI charge.

Prescription Drug DUI Penalties in Seattle

The penalties of a DUI resulting from prescription drugs are the same as those of most other criminal DUI charges. They include the following:

  • With no prior DUI offenses:
    • 30 days to 364 days of incarceration
    • A fine of $500 up to $5000
    • A combination of both punishments
    • 90 days of driver's license suspension
  • With 1 prior DUI offenses:
    • Up to 364 days of incarceration
    • A fine of $350 up to $5000
    • A combination of both punishments
    • Probation
    • 2 years of driver's license suspension
  • With 2 or more prior DUI offenses:
    • 90 days to 364 days of incarceration
    • A fine of $1000 up to $5000
    • A combination of both punishments
    • Probation
    • 3 years of driver's license suspension

Prescription drug DUI charges can be tricky for several reasons. First, a person can be charged with prescription drug DUI even if they were taking the drug as prescribed by the doctor. Second, drug impairment can be difficult to prove. While the latter fact can sometimes work in the suspect's defense, it also means that the mere presence of a drug in a driver's system along with the testimony of the arresting officer that they showed signs of being impaired can be enough to allege a DUI charge.

Seattle DUI Controlled Substance DUI Lawyer

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of a prescription drug in  Seattle, contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi now to find out more about your defense options.


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Contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi for a free consultation by calling us at 206-660-6200 or by completing the form in the sidebar. You will be put in touch with an top rated Seattle DUI attorney who will listen to you.

Seattle DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with DUI in Seattle or the surrounding area, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi. He has the skills and the experience to get you the best possible results. Do not trust your future to just anyone, get an experienced professional to defend you.