Most Arizona drivers know they can face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine, and recreational marijuana, but it is also possible to incur DUI charges for driving under the influence of some prescription medications. If another driver recently caused an accident with you or a loved one and you believe his or her prescription medication interfered with his or her ability to drive safely, contact AZ DUI Victim attorneys today for a case review and find out how we can help you recover your losses.
When you need legal representation in a civil claim for a DUI accident, you need an attorney with the experience required to navigate you to a satisfactory result.
The right attorney will make a big difference in the outcome of your DUI accident claim, so make sure you are confident in your choice of attorney before agreeing to representation.
Your DUI accident attorney will examine the evidence available and let you know how likely you are to prove the at-fault driver is responsible for your damages. An attorney can handle evidence gathering, negotiate with insurance companies if necessary, and represent you in court. DUI accident cases are different than typical car accident cases and often run in conjunction with a criminal case handled by state prosecutors. Your attorney can help you prepare to testify against the at-fault driver in the criminal case and will refer to evidence in the criminal case to assist with your civil claim.
If a person has a prescription for any medication that may interfere with his or her ability to drive a vehicle safely, it is that person’s responsibility to verify the side effects of his or her medication and refrain from driving if the drug interferes with his or her coordination, reaction time, alertness, or otherwise interferes with driving ability.
Arizona state law prosecutes drugged driving offenses very aggressively, and Arizona has some of the strictest drugged driving laws in the U.S. State law dictates that impairment “in the slightest degree” from any prescription drug that can interfere with driving ability constitutes a DUI offense. This zero-tolerance policy means it is illegal to drive while impaired to any degree by an illicit or prescription drug.
Using a lawfully prescribed drug does not entirely defend a driver from a DUI charge, especially if he or she caused an accident that resulted in bodily injury, death, or significant property damage. While the at-fault driver will avoid drug-related criminal charges due to the legal nature of the medication, he or she will still incur criminal penalties for violating Arizona’s zero-tolerance policy and face civil liability for victims’ damages.
DUI accident claims involving prescription drugs are trickier than standard DUI cases; the defendant may argue that his or her medication use did not cause or contribute to the accident and try to shift blame to the victim or cite another cause of the accident. A DUI accident attorney can help a victim assess his or her damages and build a strong case against a driver who negligently drove under the influence of a prescription medication. If you or a relative suffered injuries in a drugged driving accident, contact AZ DUI Victim attorneys today to schedule a consultation and learn how our firm can help your recovery.