Can prescription pain meds land you behind bars?

Pain can make life complicated. It isn’t always visible and it can be difficult to treat. It can make everyday life difficult. When you finally reach a point where the pain is under control, it can seem like it is only a matter of time before the treatment stops working and the process will have to start all over again.

Unfortunately, the same medications that can help you be a productive member of your community can also create other difficulties. Having a prescription for the medications in your system may not be enough to keep you from getting arrested for driving under the influence.

Here’s what you will want to know about driving and prescription pain medications.

DUI roadblocks

Earlier this year we posted an article about DUI roadblocks in the state of Tennessee. These roadblocks mean that you can be stopped even if you are not driving erratically. Even at a roadblock, officers still need to have a reasonable suspicion to investigate you further for driving under the influence.

Officers could claim this suspicion if you have pill bottles within their sight when you stop for the roadblock and they believe you indicate some sort of impairment such as slurred speech or smell of alcohol. The prescription may not save you

While your pain medications may make it possible to get through day-to-day life, they may cause problems for you behind the wheel. Many prescription pain killers can have similar effects on your driving abilities as alcohol. When these effects impact your driving, it can give an officer the suspicion necessary to pull you over.

The line between the necessity of pain medications and their impact on your ability to drive is the reason why the law is still somewhat unclear on how much is too much to have in your system while you are driving. It is important to understand what medications you are taking, the side effects they have and any potential consequences of operating a vehicle while using them. This is something you should talk to you doctor about when being prescribed medication.

If you are on prescription pain medications, make sure you carry the medication in the original labeled bottle with you. Having that can help prevent allegations of illegal possession. Even with the prescription, however, if an officer suspects you are impaired, you could still face an arrest as well as DUI charges.

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