Can I get busted for DUI in Nevada for driving under the influence of my prescription meds?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Apr 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

Yes. Driving while impaired from any medication qualifies as DUI in Nevada.

Nevada DUI Laws prohibit not only drunk driving but also drugged driving. It does not matter whether the driver has a lawful prescription or not. Nor does it matter whether the meds are over-the-counter or not. Driving while under the influence of medicine to the point it impairs the person's driving is a kind of DUI in Nevada.

The defenses to drugged driving in Nevada turn on the facts of the case. Common ways to fight charges are to argue that the cop lacked probable cause to pull over the driver, that the field sobriety tests were not administered correctly, or that the blood-testing equipment was faulty. Another possible defense is that the driver suffered from a rare, debilitating side effect of the medicine that no reasonable person would have been aware of.

Drugged driving is punished like drunk driving in Nevada. A first-time offense within seven years that causes no major injuries is a misdemeanor carrying:

  • 2 days to 6 months in jail (the judge usually suspends the jail sentence);
  • up to $1,000 in fines;
  • DUI School attendance;
  • DUI Victim Impact Panel attendance;
  • A court order not to get arrested again while the case is open; and
  • a 3-month driver's license suspension

A second-time offense within seven years is also a misdemeanor but carries at least 10 days of jail. Meanwhile, a third-time DUI within seven years is an automatic felony carrying prison time; however, it may be possible to avoid a full prison sentence by completing a DUI Court rehab program. Learn more about the Nevada crime of driving under the influence of prescription meds.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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