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Can Using Prescription Drugs Lead to OWI Charges in Wisconsin?

Posted on in DUI/OWI

Racine County OWI Defense AttorneyMost drivers understand that driving under the influence of alcohol or even recreational drugs can lead to Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charges. However, there is less clarity when it comes to prescription drugs. Although many types of prescription drugs, including opioids, come with warnings against driving or operating heavy machinery after use, driving while under the influence of these drugs which can impair your ability to safely drive continues to occur. Given the serious charges which can result from an OWI conviction, it is essential to work with an experienced OWI defense attorney.

Field Sobriety Tests for Drugs

Wisconsin law prohibits operating a motor vehicle when under the influence of any controlled substance that renders a person unable to drive safely. For alcohol, this means having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08 percent. The officer who stopped you can perform a breathalyzer test after you have been pulled over. With substances including marijuana, other drugs, and prescription medications, there is no equivalent field test. If the use of a substance other than alcohol is suspected, an additional officer may be called in. Some Wisconsin police officers are trained as drug recognition experts (DRE). The trained DRE will administer a series of tests to assess the subject. These tests include checking the subject’s pulse, examining their eye movements, performing tests to assess the subject’s level of attention, and testing vital signs, and other assessments.

If the DRE officer concludes that you may be under the influence of drugs, you will be arrested. Additional blood testing will be performed at the police station to substantiate the DRE’s conclusions. The DRE will also write a report of their interaction which can also be used as evidence. A combination of drug and alcohol use can also result in OWI charges, even if your BAC is below the legal limit.

The penalties that you face for driving while under the influence of drugs are the same as for alcohol-related offenses, increasing in severity with each offense.

Call a Milwaukee Driving While Intoxicated Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with Operating While Intoxicated, whether the charges are related to alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications, the Walworth County OWI defense lawyers at Bucher Law Group, LLC can help protect your rights and provide you with a strong defense. We will learn the details of your case, including the DRE’s report, to challenge the evidence and work to lower or drop the charges. Call us at 262-303-4916 to schedule your free consultation.





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