Let’s face it: when most of us think of DUI (driving under the influence), we think of alcohol. While drunk driving is still far and away the most common form of DUI charge in Arizona, an increasing number of motorists have been cited for drugged driving.

Unfortunately, far too often Valley of the Sun police officers lack training in detecting signs of impairment and mistake symptoms of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications for intoxication.

For example, there are OTC cold and allergy medications that can result in symptoms (slower speech or “jitters,” etc.) that are sometimes be misinterpreted by over-eager law enforcement officers as impairment.

In addition to those common OTC medications, there are other medications (prescription and OTC) that have also led to misunderstandings and DUI arrests, including the following:

  • OTC and prescription sleep aids
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Prescription drugs commonly prescribed for ADHD
  • OTC and prescription drugs to help people stay awake/alert
  • Prescription antidepressants
  • Prescription and OTC medications for flu

It is certainly no crime to take prescribed or OTC medications to help you with medical conditions, though it can appear that way to a person who has taken what the doctor ordered and found themselves facing a DUI charge.

Not only can their freedom be at risk, but so too are their driving privileges. After all, punishments for drugged driving in Arizona are exactly the same as punishments for convictions on drunk driving.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, contact a Scottsdale attorney experienced in protecting rights, freedom and driver’s licenses.