Some prescription drugs are as dangerous to driving as alcohol and other hard drugs used today. And so, if a police officer in Mississippi notices signs of impairment while on the road, they could arrest you even when you were just following your doctor’s instructions on dosage. Here’s what you need to know about such a charge.
Prescription drug driving laws in Mississippi
Mississippi law prohibits driving under the influence of any drug that impairs your ability to drive. This includes prescription drugs. Some of the medicines that could get you in trouble include:
- Opioid pain relievers
- Products containing codeine
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Anti-seizure drugs
- Prescription drugs for anxiety
These drugs have side effects such as excitability, inability to focus, fainting, blurred vision, and drowsiness, which all make it very unsafe to drive. Prescription drugs are even more dangerous because the above-mentioned side effects can last for several hours or even go over the next day.
How law enforcement determines your use of these drugs
Unlike alcohol, a police officer cannot determine the presence of a prescription drug on the spot when suspecting a DUI. And since you have a right to refuse a field sobriety test in Mississippi, the only other way a police officer can determine the presence of a drug in your system is through a blood or urine test.
Penalties for prescription drug DUI
To be penalized for driving while under the influence of a prescription drug, the prosecutor must prove without a doubt that you were indeed impaired when arrested. And in Mississippi, there is no threshold for the amount of drug that was in your system; as long as there is a trace, you could be charged.
- License revocation
- Fines up to $1000
- One to four years in prison
Most prescription drugs have warnings of when it is unsafe to use them. Always ensure to ask your doctor if it is safe to drive when under your prescribed medication to avoid problems with the law.