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Most people take the medicine prescribed by their doctors with few questions. They assume that it’s safe to go about their daily activities, including getting behind the wheel of a car. If you drive after taking a legal prescription drug, can you be arrested? Here’s what you should know. 

Prescription DUID Defined 

A DUI of drugs is similar to a DWI but with a key difference — the substance causing impairment isn’t alcohol, but prescription drugs. Controlled medicines, like opiate pain medicines (Oxycontin, Percocet) and benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax) have the potential to cause a person to become impaired enough that it’s no longer safe for them to drive. 

Can You Be Arrested If Your Meds Are Legal? 

Even if your medicine was prescribed to you by your physician and filled at your local pharmacy or drugstore, you can still be arrested and charged with a DUI of drugs in New York if you drive after taking certain types of controlled medication. Larger cities in New York usually employ specially trained police officers who are able to identify the signs that a person is under the influence of drugs (Drug Recognition Experts, or DREs). 

DUID Defense Strategies 

The defense strategies used most often in DUID cases are similar to the tactics used in DWI cases. For example, your attorney may be able to argue that not enough evidence exists to convict you. Since no breathalyzer test can be performed for a DUID, the evidence often boils down to the subjective observations of the arresting officer who was on the scene. Or, your attorney may be able to suggest that while you did, in fact, take the medicine and drive, doing so did not affect your ability to operate your vehicle safely. What defense strategy your attorney decides to use will typically depend on what evidence is available in your particular case. 

Should You Call a New York DUI Attorney? 

Your future is on the line if you’ve been arrested for a DUI of drugs in New York. It’s critical that you reach out to an experienced lawyer as soon as you can after you’re arrested and booked to protect your rights while being questioned. Brooklyn DWI lawyer Mark Cossuto understands the fundamental differences between a DWI arrest and being charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Call now for an appointment to discuss your case in detail at (800) 609-4545.