If an officer suspects drug use is contributing to a driver’s impairment, you will be asked for a blood or urine test, OR both implied consent tests. Officers typically request blood tests, or possibly blood and urine tests, if the officer suspects drug usage. The primary way many DUI suspects are determined by the investigating officer to be using drugs is for the arresting officer to merely ask, “Are you taking any medications?” Because the person is usually not yet “in custody,” this potentially harmful admission is admissible against you. Having a prescription to use a drug, or merely taking it within the recommended dosage will NOT necessarily protect you against being prosecuted for DUI. This is especially true if you have mixed alcohol with your prescribed medications. Every police officer is trained on implied consent tests.
Plus, an affirmative answer to an officer’s question about “taking drugs” (of ANY type) will authorize the officer to demand blood testing or both blood and urine testing to look for alcohol content and drug concentrations. This can mean PRESCRIBED drugs, over-the-counter drugs (like Nyquil® or Benadryl®) or illegal drugs (such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin or ecstasy). Having a prescription does not necessarily exempt you from the implied consent tests if you are too impaired by the drugs to drive safely.
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