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3 things motorists need to know about drugged driving in Ohio

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | OVI Charges

Discussions about operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) offenses often focus almost exclusively on alcohol intoxication. Many people get arrested for drunk driving because they behave in an erratic manner while in control of a vehicle or fail a breath test during a traffic stop.

However, people can also face criminal charges for driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs.

Drugged driving is the same offense as drunk driving

Ohio law does not establish much of a difference between drunk driving and drugged driving. Both are OVI offenses that carry the same potential penalties. Someone accused of drugged driving could lose their license, serve a sentence in state custody and face large fines because of their decision to drive after consuming certain substances.

There is no per se limit for drugs

Those accused of alcohol intoxication often face allegations of technically violating the law. Someone over the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) could get arrested even if they drive like a normal person. There is no such limit imposed for prescription and prohibited drugs. Any amount of a mind-altering substance in someone’s bloodstream could be enough to charge them with an Ohio OVI offense.

A prescription is not protection from prosecution

Both prescription medication and prohibited drugs could potentially lead to someone’s arrest and prosecution for an impaired driving offense. People sometimes assume that they can legally drive after taking prescription medication so long as they have a valid prescription and use the medication as recommended by the prescribing physician.

Especially if someone has taken the medication for years, they may feel confident that they have a tolerance and can drive safely while under the influence. State law does not necessarily differentiate between those who have legally used a prescription drug and those who have illegally used one for the purposes of OVI prosecution. The presence of an intoxicating substance in someone’s bloodstream is the primary consideration.

There are ways to fight back against drugged driving OVI charges in Ohio. Discussing what led to someone’s arrest with an attorney could help them identify potential defense strategies and move forward in informed ways.


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