CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Under Utah law, drivers can be charged with DUI if they are under the influence of any substance that impairs their ability to safely operate a vehicle, including legal prescription medications.
Attorney Jason Schatz with Schatz Anderson & Associates says that many prescription drugs, such as antidepressants, sleep aids or pain medications, can affect a person both mentally and physically, which is why warning labels are placed on these substances to advertise caution when operating a vehicle.
“Many drivers are shocked to find out that they could be arrested and prosecuted for DUI even if they’re only taking prescription drugs as prescribed by their doctor,” Schatz said. “The fact that a drug is validly prescribed is not a complete defense to a DUI charge.”
Learn more about prescription DUI defense in the “Ask a Local Expert” video in the media player above.
Police officers are trained to observe driving patterns and physical characteristics and to perform field sobriety tests to determine if someone is driving while impaired. However, Schatz said these assessments may fail to account for a driver’s injuries, medical conditions or physical limitations, placing them at an unfair disadvantage that could lead to a wrongful conviction for DUI.
All of the attorneys at Schatz Anderson & Associates have completed the same field sobriety test training that Utah law enforcement officers receive. Schatz is one of only about 100 lawyers in the country who is board-certified in DUI defense.
“You need to hire an attorney with the special knowledge and training necessary to property defend a prescription drug-related DUI,” he said.
For more local expert opinions on topics from bankruptcy and family law to sleep and oral wellness, click here.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.