Legal Nonprescription Medication

Bakersfield DUI Attorneys

California’s Vehicle Code and state legislation states that it is strictly illegal for anyone who is under the influence of any drug to drive a motor vehicle. In this legal code, it does not explicitly state which drugs can trigger this illegality. While many would assume they are speaking of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), especially those considered Schedule I drugs, it is true that even legal nonprescription medications, also called over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, can be illegal to use while you are driving.

Arrested for using a legal nonprescription drug while driving? Call our Bakersfield attorneys at 661.735.1038 today.

Understanding the Specifics of Your Charges

If you want to be able to challenge your charges, you will need to better understand what law enforcement considers to be “under the influence” of a drug. This term is kept intentionally vague, as that allows them to make more arrests with this legal statute. This vagueness could also be used to your advantage, though, as you may be able to more easily contest a claim that is based on an ambiguous definition.

A drug may be considered to “influence” you if you experience any of the following after taking a dose:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Irritability
  • Blurred or reduced vision clarity

For the most part, the only legal nonprescription medications that you can readily get off the pharmacy shelf that also influence you are “nighttime medications” as they intentionally get you drowsy. It is difficult to predict how you will react to a drug, even one you have taken before. You might take a teaspoon of your regular daytime medicine that has always worked in the past and feel drowsy this time.

It is also strictly illegal for you to operate a vehicle while using any drug to which you are addicted. This is a particularly interesting strategy law enforcement can use to try to get a conviction. Essentially, you could be addicted to an OTC medication that actually does not influence you at all and still be charged with a DUI with drugs.

We Have Handled 10,000+ Cases, Let’s Add Yours

Contact our Bakersfield DUI attorneys right away if you have been arrested for driving after using a legal nonprescription medication. The consequences you face could be just as harsh as any DUI conviction, despite the lack of alcohol. You can also fill out a DUI case evaluation form today to allow us to hit the ground running for your case.