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DUI and Prescription Drugs Lawyer in Wheeling

A report from the Center for Disease Control reveals that 44% of Americans are taking prescription drugs. Surprisingly, the side effects of these medications can often mimic alcohol intoxication. Imagine being pulled over by a police officer under the assumption that you are drunk, only to find yourself in serious trouble with the law.

Confusion, foggy thinking, slow reflexes, drowsiness, and dilated pupils are just a few of the side effects of prescription drugs that can mimic being drunk. These impairments greatly affect your ability to safely operate a vehicle, leaving you vulnerable to arrest if a police officer suspects you are under the influence of alcohol.

Law enforcement officers are always on the lookout for impaired drivers, relentlessly striving to ensure the safety of their communities. They will not hesitate to arrest anyone they believe is driving while impaired, regardless of the reasons behind it.

If you happen to be pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving, you may be asked to undergo chemical testing of your breath, urine, or blood. It is important to note that these tests are not infallible and can potentially indicate impairment even when you are not actually impaired.

While you have the right to refuse chemical testing, it is not advisable to do so. Refusal results in an automatic license suspension of up to one year, administered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles as an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). Multiple refusals can result in longer suspensions, with generally one year added for each subsequent refusal.

Prescription medications are intended to treat specific medical conditions or alleviate symptoms that would otherwise debilitate patients if left untreated. However, certain medications can cause drowsiness and other side effects such as slurred speech and sluggish reflexes. Here is a list of some commonly prescribed medications with potential side effects:

  • Methadone
  • Demerol
  • Klonopin
  • Adderall
  • Hydrocodone
  • Xanax
  • Ritalin
  • Ambien
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Ativan
  • Vicodin
  • Valium
  • Morphine
  • Norco
  • Percocet
  • Lunesta
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet

When you receive these medications from the pharmacy, they usually include information sheets listing the potential side effects and advising against driving until you are aware of how your body reacts to the drugs. It is essential to read and heed these warnings for your own safety.


When it comes to DUI charges resulting from prescription drug use, the penalties are on par with those for drinking and driving. You could face jail time ranging from three days to six months, along with a fine ranging from $370 to $1,075. In addition, your license could be suspended for six months to three years, on top of any Administrative License Suspension (ALS) you received upon arrest. Keep in mind that you won’t be eligible for limited driving privileges for 15 to 30 days after the commission of your offense.


The good news is that West Virginia law provides drivers who take prescription drugs with avenues to fight DUI charges related to their medication usage.

One defense recognized by law is a lack of evidence. If there is no test result, the prosecution may lack sufficient evidence to convict you, and the judge may dismiss the case. This scenario can occur if the arresting officer failed to conduct a test or if you refused to submit to testing.

Another defense revolves around the following conditions:

  1. The drug you took was prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider authorized to prescribe medications.
  2. You took the drug in the manner instructed by the licensed healthcare provider, either through injection, inhalation, or ingestion.

By meeting these criteria, it becomes challenging for the prosecution to argue that your medication impaired your ability to drive, especially when it was a valid prescription.

At Mountaineer Criminal Law Group, we understand the implications that your medication can have on your legal situation. Reach out to us today at (304) 381-3656.

Client Reviews

I had hired Mr. Logue a few years ago for my gf at the time for charges she had gotten before I had met her, for prostitution. Big mistake to date her and pay for her lawyer as we didn’t work out but Mr. Logue far exceeded expectations. He got nearly all charges in 2 separate cases dropped for her...


I was arrested on a felony 3 charge looking at at least up to 2 years in prison. County District Attorney didn't want to negotiate. After a lot of hard work, Sean was able to plead the case all the way down to just 90 days jail with a work release. Better deal than I realistically could have hoped...

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Mr. Logue took our son’s cases on very short notice (the first lawyer we hired wasn’t getting anywhere with either of the prosecutors and had actually turned one of the cases over to the court-appointed attorney). We hired Mr. Logue to go to trial if needed, but he worked with both prosecutors and...

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