In Connecticut, as in every other state, alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to a DUI charge. Driving while under the influence of drugs, whether illicit or a lawful prescription, may also result in a Connecticut DUI or DWI charge. Importantly, the penalties for a prescription drug-related DUI conviction are no different than those for a traditional, alcohol-based DUI. This is because the duty of safe driving is at issue. All drivers owe this duty to one another, and when one driver endangers another while under the influence, the nature of influencing substance is a secondary concern. Certainly, if the substance is illicit, a DUI charge may be coupled with separate drug charges. As for the DUI component, however, the penalties are the same.
Always Read the Label on Your Prescriptions
Even over-the-counter medicines such as cold remedies and antihistamines may cause one to become drowsy or disoriented and, as such, refrain from getting behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle. Behind-the-counter medications and treatments, only obtainable with the prescription of a physician, may be magnitudes stronger. This is especially the case with pain medication, some of which are derived from opiates – a very powerful class of drug. Because of this, it is critical that you follow the exact orders of the prescribing physician in taking the prescription, including taking time to read the label and understand any side-effects that you may experience. The duty is on you and an officer arresting you for DUI will not sympathetic to surprise prescription side-effect-related explanations.