Drivers in Wisconsin and throughout the country can be charged with a DUI even if they are impaired by legal medication. This is because individuals who are drowsy, dizzy or unable to focus on road conditions can be a danger to themselves and others. In some cases, motorists who take prescription medication may experience blurred vision or a reduction in their reaction times. According to the FDA, those who take prescription medication should not drive immediately after using it.
Individuals may believe that their blood alcohol content is what determines if they are charged with drunk or impaired driving. However, the truth is that being under the influence simply means that a person cannot drive safely because of drug or alcohol use. In some cases, an individual only needs to have physical control of the vehicle to receive a DUI charge.
State statutes will typically define what it means to have physical control of a vehicle. Those who are charged with a drug DUI will likely face the same penalties that they would for being charged with an alcohol DUI. In most cases, a judge will consider the same factors when determining a defendant’s sentence. These factors typically include a driver’s criminal history, the facts of the case itself and any guidelines imposed by state law.
Those who are charged with DUI may face consequences such as jail time, a fine and probation. A person may also lose his or her driver’s license either temporarily or permanently. A legal professional may be able to help an individual negotiate a favorable plea deal in a case or have a charge dismissed entirely. This may be done by casting doubt on the results of Breathalyzer or other tests used by authorities.