You know not to use illegal drugs. Additionally, you have a medical condition and you need prescription medicine to treat it. So you probably feel that you will not get into trouble with the police because you take prescription medicine. However, you might be wrong if a police officer stops you on the road.
The medicine you take might affect your senses. These effects may produce erratic driving. If the police should observe your driving and stop you, you might end up under arrest for more than one reason.
Arrested for DUI
A police officer may pull you over and ask you to take a field sobriety test. As a result of the medicine in your system, you might fail one or more of these tests. At the scene, you may point out that you have a valid need to take prescription medication.
However, FindLaw points out that DUI laws focus on the impairment a driver suffers while operating a vehicle. For this reason, it might not matter whether your impairment results from a drug you have the legal right to take. The officer will probably still arrest you for DUI.
Arrested for possession
A stop by a police officer may also result in an arrest for illegal drug possession if you have your prescription medicine in your vehicle. It depends on how you store the medicine. If you have the drugs inside the original prescription bottle, there should not be a problem.
Unfortunately, if your medicine is in an unmarked container or is in public view and you have no prescription paperwork to confirm the valid nature of the drugs, you could face an arrest for illegal possession. Still, you might beat the charges later if you supply proof of your prescription.
Be aware of your options
If you need prescription medicine, you should not have to endure legal consequences for taking them. If you are aware of the possible ways the police may suspect you of drug crimes, you stand a better chance of avoiding a troublesome situation. And if you do face charges, there may be defenses you can use to contest them.