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Defending Those Accused of Abusing Prescription Drugs

Did you know you could face just as severe penalties for driving under the influence of prescription drugs as driving under the influence of alcohol? Under the Alabama DUI statute, §32-5A-191, a driver can expect equal liability for drugged driving. According to the law:

“A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while: under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him incapable of safely driving; under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him incapable of safely driving; or under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties of such person to a degree which renders him incapable of safely driving.”

What If I Had a Valid Prescription?

Even if you have a valid prescription, you could still be charged with drugged driving if the medication hindered your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Examples of prescription drugs that could affect your ability to drive include:
Prescription Drug Abuse is Taken Very Seriously in Alabama

Prescription drug DUIs are becoming more common as prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs in the United States, behind only marijuana. Alabama takes prescription drug abuse seriously, so if you have been charged with this offense, you need to take action immediately and retain the services of an experienced DUI attorney. If convicted of this crime, you could face jail time, fines, a mark on your criminal record, the loss of your driving privileges, and more.

In Alabama, the following can be imposed if you are convicted of drugged driving:

Medical Marijuana DUI

In March 2020, the Alabama Senate passed SB 165 (the Compassion Act), which would legalize medical marijuana in the state. However, the House – which seemed to support the bill – did not get an opportunity to vote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of now, medical and recreational cannabis are not legal in Alabama. The only exceptions are some CBD products (.03 percent THC). But it appears the legalization of medical marijuana is on the horizon. According to SB 165, qualified patients who are diagnosed with cancer, PTSD, anxiety, epilepsy, and other medical conditions can buy up to a 70-day supply of infused edibles, topicals, and tablets – not smokable or vaping marijuana. So, what happens if you are pulled over for a DUI while under the influence of medical marijuana? Just like prescription drugs, no states allow medical marijuana patients to operate a vehicle while on medication.

Call our team at Tidwell Law Group, LLC today!

Because drug impairment cannot be measured as easily as alcohol impairment, our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys will do everything possible to prove that you were unaware of the effects the drugs would have on you, when you got behind the wheel.

For the skilled criminal defense you need, do not hesitate to contact The Tidwell Law Group, LLC and to get 17 years of legal experience on your side. We represent clients living in Birmingham and the surrounding areas.


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