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DUI and Prescription Drugs

According to a national study on drug use, more people use prescription drugs than cocaine, meth and heroin combined. This makes prescription drug use second behind marijuana as the most commonly used substance.

DUI is equated with alcohol, but DUI arrests involving prescription drugs are just as common. DUI with prescription drugs can happen to anyone. If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Columbus, OH, you should contact legal representation right away.

Columbus, OH Prescription Drug DUI Defense Lawyer

With more Ohioans taking prescription drugs, more people are being arrested for DUI / OVI. Take the first steps in building your defense and contact Joslyn Law Firm. Call (614) 300 - 3025 to schedule a confidential consultation.

We represent clients in counties across central Ohio such as Franklin County, Union County, Delaware County, Madison County and numerous others.


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Ohio Laws for DUI with Prescription Drugs

A vast majority of prescription drugs involved in DUI arrests are classified as controlled substances. Unless you hold a valid prescription for the medication, you will be arrested if you are driving under the influence of such drugs.

There are certain conditions were the laws governing DUI with prescription drugs would not apply to you. You must meet two conditions to be exempt from operating a vehicle while under the influence of a prescription drug. These conditions include:

  • The substance was obtained through a valid prescription provided by a licensed healthcare professional who is authorized to prescribe drugs
  • The substance was injected, ingested or inhaled per a health professional’s direction.

Just because you have a prescription doesn’t mean you are free from prosecution. State v. Andera proves this fact. In this case, the defendant caused the death of another person and injured two others in an auto accident while intoxicated by prescription drugs. Andera argued he was following doctor’s orders by taking his prescription medication, but he ingested 10 times the prescribed amount.


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How is DUI Charged in Ohio?

Driving under the influence of prescription drugs is charged the same as if you were caught operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. You will be penalized with time in jail, a suspended license and expensive fines.

The first time you are convicted of OVI in Ohio, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and face the following penalties:

  • A minimum of 72 hours in jail, but up to six months
  • A fine between $375 and $1,075
  • A license suspension for six months to three years
  • Limited driving privileges for 15 days

A second DUI conviction with prescription drugs is also charged as a first-degree misdemeanor but with elevated penalties.

  • A minimum of 10 days in jail, but no more than six months
  • A fine between $525 and $1,625
  • A license suspension for one to five years
  • Restricted driving plates (Yellow Plates)
  • 90-day vehicle immobilization

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Possession of a Controlled Substance

You could be charged with possession of a controlled substance if you are found in possession of prescription drugs during the DUI stop. Some of the most common prescription drugs involved in DUI cases include:

  • Vicodin
  • Xanax
  • Ambien
  • Adderall
  • Valium
  • Oxytocin
  • Codeine
  • Klonopin
  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Demerol

These medications are classified as schedule II, IV and V drugs. They have a medical purpose, but also have a potential for abuse. You could be charged with anything from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony depending on the classification of the drug and its weight.


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Additional Resources for DUI and Prescription Drugs

State of Ohio v. Clement Andera– Learn more about the court case establishing a driver can still be charged with an OVI / DUI while under the influence of a prescription drug prescribed by their doctor. The case can be read on the Ohio Supreme Court website.

Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol | Ohio Revised Code– Follow the provided link to read the full text of statute governing OVI/ DUI. You can read the precise legal definition of OVI as well as the legal limits for both drugs and alcohol. You can read the code on the Ohio Laws and Rules website.


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Defense Attorney for DUI with Prescription Drugs in Columbus, OH

You will need the guidance of an experienced DUI attorney if you were charged for driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Call (614) 300 - 3025 to schedule a confidential consultation. We will listen to your story and formulate a defense plan in your best interest.

Joslyn Law Firm defends clients of OVI offenses in counties in central Ohio including Pickaway County, Fairfield County and Licking County.


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Joslyn Law Firm