Providing You the Best Legal Representation Following a DWI Arrest
About 25-30% of our cases involve DWI charges in which the person is suspected of using drugs. (See Louisiana DWI Laws for more on the specific laws related to drug-related DWI.)
The fact that you might have a prescription for drugs, such as pain-killers, or Xanax for anxiety, or Soma for muscle pain, is NOT a defense. It is legal for you to drive while using prescription drugs, or drinking for that matter, but it is not legal if doing so impairs you.
DWI penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are the same as they would be if the chemical that impaired the driver was alcohol. Thus, you need a DWI attorney to provide your best legal argument against the arrest.
Louisiana’s Law Regarding Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs
Louisiana has a specific statute regarding drug-related DUI crimes.
The most relevant section of the law to those facing misdemeanor and felony DWI drug charges states:
14 La. Rev. Stat. § 98
A. (1) The crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance when: …
(c) The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in La. R.S. 40:964
(d)(i) The operator is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription.
(e)(i) The operator is under the influence of one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription.
As Louisiana’s law reads, a person can be convicted for a DWI drugs crime when they are in control of nearly any type of vehicle and were under the influence of either an illegal drug (marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, other narcotics, etc) or a medication available OTC or by prescription. The State will provide the police officer’s report and drug test of your blood or urine as evidence that you used a drug that was legal or illegal and that your driving was impaired by that substance.
Whether you need an attorney to handle the illegal drug aspect of your case or to show proof that your medication use was lawful, your best choice for legal counsel is the law office of McMillin Law.
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When you face DWI charges for driving under the influence of prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, your attorney will fight for your rights by presenting one of two affirmative defenses for DUID cases.
He will show that:
- You did not knowingly take a dosage of the medication which substantially exceeded the amount identified by your doctor or the manufacturer’s instructions located on the box, bottle or dosing instructions.
- Or, you had no warning from your doctor or the manufacturer that the medication could not be combined with an alcoholic beverage.
These affirmative defenses to DUI prescription drug charges are identified in the Louisiana Revised Statutes. There are, however, other defenses to fight your DUI charge that the skilled attorneys at McMillin Law are prepared to use. Combining prescription and/or over the counter medications, for example, may have led to your impairment without your having any knowledge that this could happen. Another complication could be that you blew a high level on a Breathalyzer due to the combination of a small amount of alcohol with a low dose of the antidepressants belonging to the SSRI family.
Robert McMillin is a highly trained, legal expert in DUI defense and understands what evidence is needed from your medical records in order to present your best defense against the State. He also understands how to interpret toxicology reports and will ensure the state follows the required proper procedures. When they don't he'll work to get those charges dropped or reduced.