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OVI and Prescription Drugs Lawyer in St. Clairsville

A knowledgeable St. Clairsville OVI lawyers can inform you that, as per a report from the Center for Disease Control, approximately 44% of Americans rely on one or more prescription drugs. It is often overlooked that these medications can exhibit side effects resembling alcohol intoxication. Hence, if you are pulled over by a police officer under the suspicion of drunk driving, you could potentially find yourself facing legal repercussions.

Some of the side effects associated with prescription drugs, mimicking signs of drunkenness, encompass confusion or impaired thinking, delayed reflexes, drowsiness or excessive sleepiness, and dilated pupils. These effects significantly hamper your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, which could result in an arrest by a vigilant police officer assuming your impairment stems from prescription drug consumption.

Law enforcement officers diligently patrol our streets, striving to safeguard the well-being of the community. They exercise no hesitation when it comes to arresting individuals driving under the influence, regardless of the underlying cause.

If you are pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving, you might be asked to undergo chemical testing of your breath, urine, or blood. It is important to note that these tests are not flawless and might yield a false positive for impairment.

While you have the right to refuse chemical testing, it is not recommended. Doing so will automatically lead to a license suspension lasting up to one year. This administrative license suspension, termed ALS, is carried out by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Additionally, multiple refusals can extend the duration of the suspension, with each subsequent refusal resulting in an additional year of license suspension.

Prescription medications are drugs prescribed by healthcare professionals to treat specific medical conditions or alleviate symptoms that would otherwise severely impact the patient’s well-being. It is crucial to be aware of the potential side effects associated with these medications, which may include drowsiness, slurred speech, and delayed reflexes. Below is a list of some commonly prescribed drugs:

  • Methadone
  • Demerol
  • Klonopin
  • Adderall
  • Hydrocodone
  • Xanax
  • Ritalin
  • Ambien
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Ativan
  • Vicodin
  • Valium
  • Morphine
  • Norco
  • Percocet
  • Lunesta
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet

Taking prescription drugs can have legal implications if not handled responsibly. It is crucial to be aware of the potential side effects and precautions provided by the pharmacy. Pay attention to the information sheets and follow the guidelines to ensure your safety.


Regarding penalties, the consequences for operating a vehicle under the influence of prescription drugs are similar to those for driving under the influence of alcohol. These penalties may include fines ranging from $370 to $1,075, a suspended license for six months to three years, in addition to any administrative license suspension (ALS) imposed at the time of arrest. Limited driving privileges may not be available for 15 to 30 days after the offense.


Ohio law provides drivers who take prescription drugs with the opportunity to defend against OVI charges. One defense permitted by law is the lack of evidence. If there is no test result available, there may not be sufficient evidence to convict, potentially leading to the dismissal of your case. This scenario could arise if the arresting officer didn’t conduct a test or if you refused to undergo testing.

It is important to note that you cannot be charged with operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) in relation to your prescription medication if two conditions are met:

  • The medication you consumed was prescribed to you by a licensed healthcare provider authorized to prescribe medications.
  • You consumed the medication in the manner instructed by the licensed healthcare provider, be it through injection, inhalation, or ingestion.

When the medication you took is a valid prescription, it becomes challenging for a prosecutor to argue that it impaired your ability to drive.

At St. Clairsville Criminal Law Group, we specialize in understanding how the medications you are taking can potentially lead to legal issues. For further assistance, contact us today at (330) 992-3036.

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