Updated on September 28th, 2021 at 06:51 pm
A Wisconsin OWI or DUI is not specific to driving while under the influence of alcohol. It can also mean driving while impaired by any other drugs.
Legal drugs, such as medications prescribed by doctors, or Synthetic Drugs, such as Salvia, have side effects that impair a driver to operate a vehicle safely. Driving under the influence of any drugs allows Wisconsin officers to arrest a driver for DUI and other criminal charges.
Is Wisconsin A Zero Tolerance State For Drugs?
Wisconsin supports zero-tolerance laws, in which you can be charged for a drugged driving DUI in Wisconsin if there is any detectable amount of a controlled substance in your system. The only exception is a valid delta-nine THC prescription.
What Is A DUI Medication In Wisconsin?
Medications prescribed for pain relief, muscle relaxation, or sleep aides have similar effects as alcohol. You can be charged with an OWI while taking these medications because these drugs slow down a person’s reaction time, change the dilation of one’s pupils, and can cause slurred speech.
The warnings on these medications usually advise not to use or operate heavy machinery until you know how it will affect you. A person taking these medications for an extended time may feel comfortable driving a vehicle. Still, a Wisconsin police officer may notice signs of driving under the influence, leading to a Wisconsin DUI.
Will Prescription Medication Put Me At Risk For An OWI?
Yes, Wisconsin makes it very easy to charge people on prescription medications as being impaired. You can be charged with drugged driving, also known as operating with a restricted controlled substance in your system.
A lot of people take prescription medications because they need to be able to function. Does that automatically mean they are impaired?
No. Just because a person is on prescribed medication does not mean that they are impaired. For example, somebody who is bipolar or has a form of attention deficit disorder needs medication to function normally. If this person does not take their medication, they will be far more ‘impaired’ than if they took their prescription as directed.
Wisconsin DUI Issued for Street Drugs
Street drugs can be legal or illegal, depending on the state. Wisconsin labels marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and similar drugs illegal, while other drugs, such as Salvia, are considered legal.
These drugs produce a different effect on a person and ultimately can lead a Wisconsin police officer to arrest a driver for DUI.
Vague Laws Make It Dangerous for Any Driver on Medication
It’s a very scary world out there, and that’s why several people seek representation from a DRE experienced attorney for prescription medication cases. The law is extremely vague. There are hundreds of questions in which you could surmise thousands of answers.
One of the most interesting things about prescription medication impairment is that when you are charged, the prosecutor will bring in an expert who will testify to the level of drugs in your system ‑‑ not prescribed medications ‑‑ and they will say you are impaired.
Impairment Is Always Seen As Impairment
This expert will be from the State Hygiene Lab or State Crime Lab. Their only job is to testify that there is some form of a drug in your system.
- They will not testify to the fact that you are under a doctor’s care.
- They will not look at your medical background.
- They will not look at how long you’ve been on prescription medications. They will not consider your personal tolerance to the prescription.
This is where you need one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Wisconsin, experienced in defending against arbitrary impairment laws.
What is a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE)?
For a Wisconsin police officer to determine a person is under the influence of drugs, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) must be called to perform the 12-Step Recognition Process.
A DRE is certified and trained to administer the test for drug recognition. Each step allows the evaluator to determine the specific drug a driver is on through an elimination process.
If a DRE performed the 12-Step Recognition Process on you, you need to immediately contact Attorney Nathan J. Dineen.
Attorney Dineen is certified in Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) and is a certified Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor. His training and experience will arm you with the best defense for your most favorable outcome.
Hiring a DRE Certified Wisconsin DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been pulled over and charged with an OWI or DUI for drugs, it is in your best interest to hire a Wisconsin DUI Defense Attorney certified in Drug Recognition Evaluation. Contact Attorney Nathan J. Dineen today for a Free Case Review.