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Posted by Leigh Ann Bauer | Dec 05, 2023 | 0 Comments

Under Alaska law, it is a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  This means that even though you may be taking medications legally because a doctor prescribed them or purchased them at a pharmacy, you can still be charged with a DUI.  


If the prescription medication affects your ability to operate your vehicle safely, you are driving under the influence of drugs.  Many prescriptions for over the counter medications have side effects that can effect your ability to operate your vehicle, even after taking the prescribed dosage.  Common legal drug side effects may include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, blurred vision, slow movement, or inability to focus.  

It is very important to pay attention to the labels posted on the medication bottle.  If the medication prescribed by your doctor warns you to not combine them with alcohol, don't do it.  Here's why. If you had a glass of wine or two while drinking with friends, you may be legally under a .08 blood alcohol level, but when you combine alcohol with the prescribed medication and it enhances the side effects, you can be convicted of a Drug DUI. If you are interrogated by law enforcement at any point during the DUI investigation, do not admit to using any drugs even if they are prescribed.  Any admission you make to a law enforcement Officer may be used against you in your case to prosecute you.  

About the Author

Leigh Ann Bauer

I decided to become a lawyer while working for my father's law firm when I was in high school. I watched my father try cases, and decided that I wanted to become a trial attorney. In 1984 I spent a year abroad, studying at the Gymnasium Mussenredder in Hamburg, Germany. I graduated from the Univ...


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