DUI: Prescription Drugs

rescription Drug DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to operating a vehicle while affected by alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or both. This applies to both legal and illegal drugs, including prescription and over the counter medication.  It’s important to know that “drugs” doesn’t refer only to illegal narcotics.  Medications that were prescribed or sold over-the-counter (depression medications, painkillers or sleep agents) can also create an intoxicating effect. Legally possessing the medication is not a defense.

The aim of state DUI laws, generally, is to prohibit driving while under the influence of anything that would impair your performance behind the wheel. Chapter 46.61.502 of the Revised Code of Washington establishes the state’s laws for driving while under the influence. The drunk driving code does not limit the definition of DUI to alcohol but instead includes “any drug” under which a driver may be impaired.

How to fight DUI charges for prescription drugs?

You have a legal right to consume and possess a prescribed drug for medical or psychological purposes i.e. pain relievers or anti-anxiety drugs.  However, you could still be arrested and charged with a DUI even at prescribed levels. Even if you are not abusing the medication these drugs can cause impairment and in turn affect your ability to drive.

  • Look for warning labels or ask your pharmacist if you are in doubt about a drug’s capacity for impairment. 

As with any DUI, your attorney will examine the facts of your case and determine if your charges and ultimate arrest meet the standards established by Washington’s DUI laws.  All cases have the potential to be challenged in a court of law.

Prescription drugs DUI offenses are not as common as alcohol DUI’s but can easily occur. Being arrested for any type of DUI can have a huge impact on your life.  If you are facing any Spokane DUI charges you need a good DUI defense lawyer now more than ever.

Retain a Skilled Spokane Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer & Former Prosecutor

At Bugbee Law, we understand the stress and overwhelming feelings of receiving a DUI.  We not only work with you to resolve your case to obtain the best possible outcome, but we work to make the entire process as smooth as possible.  We truly care about you and want you to get on with your life.

When you choose to retain Bugbee Law Office, P.S., you are getting a former prosecutor with over 22 years of experience on your side, and this experience will be invaluable to your case. Retain a top-rated Spokane DUI Attorney to represent your first time DUI offense case.

Call today, we answer your call 24/7! (509) 337-5082

Clients choose Bugbee Law Office because:

  • He has handled nearly 200 jury cases.
  • He is AV Preeminent® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®.
  • He is rated 10.0 Superb by Avvo.
  • Member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
  • Voted 10 Best for client satisfaction by American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys

The Right Spokane DUI Attorney


When you hire our Spokane DUI law firm, you will obtain the upper hand in court. With more than two decades of experience, our award-winning attorney is fully equipped to combat your criminal charges. Put a former prosecutor in your corner.

Washington State DUI

In Washington State, DUI is covered under RCW 46.61.502, which states that a person can be arrested for DUI if he or she drives under the influence of intoxication liquor, marijuana, or any other drug within the state.

What is deferred prosecution?

In Washington, the Deferred Prosecution program allows certain offenders diagnosed with alcohol addiction who have accepted the need for treatment to undergo a two year treatment program. Upon successful completion of the program, the DUI charge is dismissed. Although the program is generally used for DUI cases, it may also apply to certain offenders with drug addictions. Under the most recent laws, offenders are limited to one deferred prosecution in a lifetime. Call Bugbee Law today for an experienced DUI Lawyer to handle your first time DUI offenses case, you’ll be glad you did.

Penalties for a First Time DUI Offense (BAC under 0.15%)

  • 24 hours to 364 days in jail
  • Fine ranging between $940 and $5,000
  • 90 days to 1 year driver’s license suspension
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) required

Penalties for a First Time DUI Offense (BAC above 0.15%)

  • 48 hours to 364 days in jail
  • Fine ranging between $1,195.50 and $5,000
  • One year driver’s license revocation
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) required

Speak With a Spokane DUI Defense Lawyer!

Arrested for DUI? Contact Spokane DUI Defense Attorney Chris Bugbee to give yourself the best opportunity to fight your DUI charges. As a former prosecutor who has earned numerous achievements, awards, and accolades, you can trust in his ability to defend you!

Call Your Spokane DUI Attorney Today! (509) 337-5082 | 24/7



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Best DUI Attorney in Spokane washington Spokane DUI Lawyer

Bugbee Law Office, P.S.  (509) 337-5082

1312 N Monroe St, Ste 147

Spokane, WA 99201 |  View Map

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