Indianapolis Colts Owner’s DUI Charge and Prescription Medication DUIs in Nevada

As defense attorneys, we often hear from people after they have been arrested for a medication related DUI that they are innocent because the drugs were prescribed to them by a doctor. However, recent events in the news help to invalidate this myth. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was recently charged with two misdemeanors after an arrest that occurred on March 16, 2014. Irsay was charged with one count of operating his vehicle while intoxicated and one count of operating a vehicle with a controlled substances in his system. The substances in his system were oxycodone and/or hydrocodone. Both of these substances are often prescribed by doctors to treat pain.   Several pills were also seized from Irsay’s possession to be analyzed.

While both of Irsay’s charges are misdemeanors, he is facing serious consequences for them. Jail time may or may not be imposed, depending on several factors his attorneys, prosecutors, and the court must consider. He may also end up with a probationary period, and other consequences, such as classes, community service, high fines, and driving restrictions.  Irsay has remained free since his arrest to attend substance abuse treatment and it has been reported he spent an time in a treatment facility following his arrest.

As stated above, it is often a misconception people have that they are not guilty of a DUI charge if they only had medication in their system that was prescribed by a doctor. However, driving under the influence of certain legally prescribed medications can still result in a conviction for a DUI in Nevada.

There are several types of prescription drugs that can result in a DUI arrest or conviction. Most of these drugs can cause harmful effects on a person’s driving abilities. Typically, these medications will contain labels that warn the patient from driving while under the influence of the medication. Some common medications that can result in a DUI conviction if arrested with these in a person’s system are hydrocodone, oxycodone, Percocet, Demerol, Ambien, Vicodin, and Codeine. There are many others that could be added to this list, these are simply some of the most common. Basically, any drug that serves as a painkiller or sedative can slow down body functions and impair driving.

The fact that a doctor has prescribed the medication does not make a person not guilty of a DUI charge. Whether the medication was obtained legally from a doctor or was purchased or obtained illegally does not affect the DUI charge itself. Additional charges may or may not be considered for medication not legally obtained, however.  When dealing with the DUI charge, the main factor is whether or not the medication was causing the person to drive impaired.

Click the following link for more information on DUI charges in Nevada, and the procedures and penalties. As you can see from the case with Irsay, DUI charges, whether for alcohol or prescription medications, can have very serious consequences. It is important to choose an attorney early on who is experienced and can help defend you and protect your rights.