Prescription and Illegal Drug-Related DWIs
Interviewer: For drug-related DWI cases, do you see more cases involving illegal drugs or prescription drugs, and can you get a DWI charge for either?
Stuart: We probably see more illegal drugs but only because there’s an odor with marijuana and unless you’re really driving poorly, most people don’t get pulled over for using prescription drugs. This is because there are no indicia that a police officer can really see when he goes to the car or when he goes and speaks to you as I said.
Both are prescription and illegal drug use, while driving, are subject to charges. You are not supposed to be driving under the influence of any drug that changes your ability to drive. However, we have experienced more success defending cases that involve legal drugs because there’s not the stigma, first off, of an illegal drug. There also is the argument that the person may not have known the side effects of the drug if it was a new prescription or if the doctor divulge them, and there is a knowledge component to that charge.