I was pulled over for DUI in Ventura. My breathalizer was 0.0. They took blood for drugs. I have a prescription for Lorazepam.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Santa Barbara, CA

I did not admit to the prescription or the fact that i had taken Lorazapam 12 hours earlier in the morning. I was driving mostly under the influence of a lot of coffee and great exhaustion. They took my blood and my court date is for Jan. 14, 2013. What can I do between then and now? What am I looking at -- a first-time offense?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Mindy H McQueen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . These Rx cases can be difficult for them to prosecute. Depends on a number of factors-you should definitely consult with a DUI defense attorney. I am including a link to my website. Please feel free to call me to discuss your case, Mindy McQueen. www.venturacountyduilawyer.com

  2. Shawn Michael Haggerty

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The attorney posts are correct. Making the assumption that your facts are correct, get an attorney. Just because you have a court date that does not mean that charges have been filed.

  3. Adam Laurence Pearlman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Prescription medication DUI cases are difficult to prove. As a defense attorney I would get all of your medical records and a statement from your doctor stating that driving on the medication is safe so long as it is taken per the prescription. You should consult with a local attorney to determine the best strategy for you.

  4. Brian K Wanerman

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Driving under the influence of a drug is DUI. It doesn't matter that you had a prescription. If you knew that the drug had the potential to affect your judgment and drove anyway, you could be convicted of DUI. However, whether you will be convicted depends on the facts and how good your attorney is.

    If you took the drug 12 hours prior to driving, it seems unlikely that it was still affecting your judgment 12 hours later. However, there are some powerful long-lasting prescription drugs and I am not familiar with the effects of Lorazapam. Consult the warnings on the bottle/box/insert and/or consult your doctor..

    The fact that you blew 0.0 (which is surprising. most times, even a completely sober person will register something on a breathalyzer test) simply means that you likely will not be charged with a violation of VC 23152(b) - driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. However, you can still be charged with a violation of VC 23152(a) - driving under the influence of alcohol and/or a drug. To convict you, the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt ALL of the following:

    (1) You drove a motor vehicle
    (2) At the time you drove a motor vehicle, you were under the influence of alcohol and/or a drug/drugs.
    (3) The effect of the alcohol and/or drug(s) was such that it impaired your judgment to the point where you could not safely operate a motor vehicle..

    Whether the prosecution can prove these depends on the specific facts. You should consult an attorney with the details for the best advice and to protect your rights.

  5. Jim Mitchell Medley

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There will be many factors in your case that will determine how defendable your case is. Ativan has a long half life. It can be detectable in your blood for over 24 hours after your last dose. Whether or not you were impaired is another question.

    Officers are trained to follwo certain steps to prove impairment due to drugs/medications. Make sure your lawyer knows how to examine these details of the police investigation. This is a very spcialized area even within DUI defense. Be very careful in selecting your attorney.

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