DUI – Prescription Drugs

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DUI Prescription Drugs

When most people think of DUI cases, they typically think of a person under the influence of alcohol.  However, more and more Georgians are being charged with driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

A conviction for Prescription Drug DUI requires the State to prove that an individual was under the influence of a prescription medication to the extent that he or she was incapable of driving safely.  This analysis relies almost exclusively on the officer’s observations and takes into account all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest.  These may include (but are not limited to):

  • The accused person’s driving (weaving, failure to maintain lane, speeding, hit-and-run, failure to use safety equipment such as headlights);
  • The accused person’s speech patterns and behavior, as observed by the arresting officer;
  • The accused person’s performance on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (click here to learn more about Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and how they work);
  • The presence of one or more controlled substances in the person’s blood, as determined by chemical testing; OR
  • The person’s refusal to submit to a blood test.

Chemical Testing

There are a few important things you should know about blood testing in Prescription Drug DUI cases.

Penalties for Prescription Drug DUIs

First Offense in 10 Years Misdemeanor · At least 24 hours but not more than 1 year of jail time;

· 12 months of probation, less any time spent in jail;

· A fine of $300 – $1,000, plus surcharges and court costs;

· 40 hours of community service at a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization;

· DUI or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program;

· Clinical Evaluation and Treatment;

· License Suspension

Second Offense in 10 Years Misdemeanor · At least 72 hours but not more than 1 year of jail time;

· 12 months of probation, less any time spent in jail;

· A fine of $600 – $1,000 plus surcharges and court costs;

· 240 hours of community service at a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization;

· DUI or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program;

· Clinical Evaluation and Treatment;

· License Suspension

Third Offense in 10 Years High and Aggravated Misdemeanor · At least 120 days but not more than 1 year of jail time;

· 12 months of probation, less any time spent in jail;

· A fine of $1,000 – $5,000 plus surcharges and court costs;

· 240 hours of community service at a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization;

· DUI or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program;

· Clinical Evaluation and Treatment;

· License Revocation

Fourth or Subsequent Offense Felony · At least 90 days but not more than 5 years in jail/prison;

· 5 years of probation, less any time spent in incarceration;

· A fine of $1,000 – $5,000 plus surcharges;

· At least 60 days of community service at a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization;

· DUI or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program;

· Clinical Evaluation and Treatment;

· License Revocation