When most people hear “DWI,” they think of drinking while driving. While many DWIs certainly do involve alcohol, the term DWI simply means driving while impaired. The impairment can stem from alcohol or other substances such as illegal drugs, prescription medication and even over-the-counter medication. Narcotics, painkillers, sleep aids and anti-anxiety medication are common culprits in prescription drug DWI cases.
Arrests for prescription drug DWIs are becoming increasingly common across the state. Even if you were legally prescribed the medication, you can still be convicted for DWI if the prosecutor can prove that the medication impaired your driving.
During traffic stops, police officers frequently ask drivers if they are taking prescription painkillers or other medication. They immediately become suspicious if you answer yes. They may require you to perform field sobriety tests to judge your physical and mental impairment. These tests can later be used as evidence against you.
Unlike cases involving alcohol — where the law imposes a firm .08 legal limit — there is no quantifiable limit to the amount of medication or other substances in your system. As a result, these cases often involve more subjective evidence such as whether the officer thought you exhibited symptoms of impairment.
In these types of cases, getting quality legal representation can make a significant difference in your case. An attorney can help detect weaknesses in the state’s case — for example, by exploring whether the police officer had a legal basis for conducting a traffic stop and field sobriety tests.
At The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett, we can examine your case and develop strong strategies for challenging the charges or negotiating a better outcome. Our more than 34 years of experience in criminal law spans both sides of the issue — from prosecution to defense — which allows our attorney to provide insightful legal guidance few other attorneys can offer.
Our track record of success is vast as well, showcasing just how tenacious and aggressive Mr. Barnett is in the courtroom as well as his passion for seeking the best possible outcomes for his clients.
DWI cases involving prescription drugs can be incredibly challenging and should only be handled by someone experienced in the law. Attorney Kevin L. Barnett understands both sides of the issue, making him more effective at truly getting the best possible outcome.
If you would like to discuss your case with our highly skilled and experienced attorney, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Charlotte office today to schedule a free initial consultation. Call 704-334-2044 or you can also send us an email with a brief description of your case to get started.