You need to be careful when using any substances that may impair your ability to drive. Even if those substances are legal, that does not mean you can get behind the wheel. You could still face serious DUI charges, and telling the court that you misinterpreted the law isn’t going to help.
Alcohol is nothing but a legal drug
The most common example of this, of course, is alcohol. With the minor exception of Prohibition, it’s always been legal. But, as you know, driving while impaired by alcohol is illegal. You can drink, but the moment you get in the car, you risk running into legal issues.
It’s important to keep this same mindset with other substances. For instance, South Dakota recently voted to legalize recreational marijuana. This has curiously been challenged and is going to the Supreme Court, but, even should South Dakota eventually have dispensaries like many other states, using marijuana and then driving would still be illegal.
Another example is with prescription medications. These are also legal if you have a prescription, but some of them can seriously impair your ability to drive. Your doctor will likely tell you not to operate machinery and things of this nature, but you must remember moving forward that you should not drive after taking them. Saying that you have a prescription from the doctor may protect you from illegal use charges, but it does not protect you from DUI charges. You may still have broken the law.
Don’t let a mistake change your life
It’s often easy to remember the laws about drinking and driving, but these other issues are easier to overlook or view incorrectly. People often say that they had no idea they were breaking the law after using prescription drugs and then driving, for instance. They didn’t want to do anything wrong, but they’re still facing life-changing charges.
If this happens to you, make sure you understand your legal options. You need to protect your future. You don’t want a simple mistake to cost you your freedom, your career and more.