Americans are taught at an early age that drinking alcohol and then choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle is both dangerous and illegal. But what many Americans are not taught is that you can sometimes face criminal charges for driving under the influence if you drive with certain, legal medications in your system.
We have previously written that Wisconsin drivers do not need to be drinking in order to be charged with OWI. Operating while intoxicated refers both to alcohol and a variety of other drugs which have been deemed "intoxicants" by state legislators.
Earlier this month, a Wisconsin teen was sentenced in the car accident death of her friend and classmate last September. The 18-year-old girl from Mequon will face one year in jail with release during the day to attend college.
In January, we posted that Wisconsin residents can sometimes face DUI charges for drugged driving even if the drugs in their system are legal and prescribed by a doctor. An arrest often relies on the judgment of a police officer to determine if the drugs in the driver's system have caused impairment.
Because most DUI cases involve alcohol, we commonly refer to driving under the influence as "drunk driving." While all drunk drivers are under the influence, not all DUI arrests are caused by alcohol. Other mood-altering drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines can seriously impair your ability to drive. In addition to a DUI charge, users of these illegal drugs also face criminal charges for possession.