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2 reasons that prescription medication use pre-crash can lead to arrest

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2023 | Dwi Defense |

Prescription medication is legal for people to possess under certain circumstances, and many people benefit from the supervised administration of a prescription drug regimen. Despite these benefits, there are risks. Many medications carry some risk of abuse, dependence or side effects. Small mistakes might mean that the same medications that doctors recommend to their patients can also sometimes lead to criminal prosecution.

Drivers in New York who have medication in their vehicles may think very little of that fact until an officer brings it up during a traffic stop. At that point, a motorist may be at increased risk of arrest for drug charges even though the medication may have been prescribed legally. These are two of the ways in which having medication in a vehicle could potentially contribute to someone’s arrest.

It could make officers suspect impairment

One of the more common reasons that the presence of prescription medication in a vehicle would trigger someone’s arrest and prosecution is that the individual consumed the medication before driving. Many regular prescription drugs can impact someone’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Pain relievers, psychiatric medication, anti-epilepsy drugs and a host of other prescriptions affect someone’s driving ability and might therefore lead to impaired driving charges if a police officer spots prescription vials of certain kinds of medication in someone’s vehicle.

The medication might not belong to the driver

People often take for granted that they can use their sibling’s leftover pain relievers or take their roommate’s prescription medication to them at work if they forget it at home, but the law is very clear about can transport prescribed medication or possess it. Certain other people can pick up and deliver sealed prescription medication on behalf of an individual, but once someone has opened the medication or transferred it to another package, they generally cannot have someone else transport the medication. Even storing the medication for someone until they get out of work in a vehicle could be enough for the motorist to end up charged with the unlawful possession of someone else’s drugs.

Seemingly small mistakes can potentially lead to life-altering consequences for people who have totally innocent intentions. Learning more about the behaviors that could trigger criminal charges during a traffic stop may help those who need prescription medication or have a loved one who does.