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Knoxville DUI defense attorneyBeing legally entitled to possess and use a controlled substance that a doctor has given you a prescription for does not mean that you are allowed to drive after taking it. Many prescription drugs can cause impairment that affects a person's ability to operate a vehicle safely just as much as alcohol can. Medications like strong narcotic painkillers, anxiety medications, and even lighter medications like muscle relaxers or sleeping pills can change a person's level of alertness and coordination. Unfortunately, people can and often do get arrested and charged with a DUI for driving while affected by their medications. If you have been charged with DUI after using your prescription medication, it is important to work with a skilled DUI lawyer who can help you fight back. 

What Prescription Drugs Could Lead to a DUI?

Prescription drug DUIs can be complicated. While a drunk person’s BAC can show exactly how intoxicated they are, there is no such test easily available to measure a person’s level of intoxication when there is a different substance working. Tests will typically only show whether you have taken a substance in the recent past, not whether you are actively intoxicated. Much of the evidence in these cases is based on the police officer’s subjective observations. 

Some prescription drugs that you could get a DUI after taking include: 

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Knoxville DUI defense lawyerObviously, driving your personal car, pickup truck, minivan, or whatever you happen to own while intoxicated can get you pulled over and charged with a DUI. However, personal street vehicles are not the only vehicles that you can get in trouble for operating while impaired. If you get a DUI on a boat, it is called Boating Under the Influence.

In general, if it rolls, flies, or floats, you should not be driving it anywhere while you are intoxicated, if not for legal reasons than for safety reasons. The thinking behind this is that if you could easily hurt someone by crashing your vehicle into them due to intoxication, you absolutely should not be in control of the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have been charged with any form of a DUI, it is important that you take the matter seriously and find a good criminal defense attorney. 

Vehicles You Cannot Operate While Impaired

You could get charged with DUI or a variation of a DUI if you are caught drunk or drugged driving a: 

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Using a Restricted License After a DUI

Posted on in DUI/DWI

Knoxville DUI lawyerOne of the most difficult-to-cope-with consequences of a DUI is the loss of a driver’s license. In Tennessee, if you are convicted of driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance, you are likely to have your license revoked for some time. The exact length of the revocation can depend on a number of circumstances, like whether you have prior DUI's. During this time, life can be challenging. Unless you live in a city with excellent public transportation, not being able to drive can make getting to school or work, picking your kids up from school, and even getting groceries a challenge. Fortunately, there may be a way to get a restricted license that will allow you to drive for certain limited purposes. Our attorneys can help you apply. 

What Can I Do With a Hardship License?

Restricted licenses are also called hardship licenses. Not being able to drive can create hardship for your entire family. Finding alternate transportation to work might not be economically or practically viable for everyone. Tennessee has plenty of rural areas where there is very limited public transportation, and even getting an Uber can be challenging. This is why Tennessee offers restricted licenses. Generally, there are two options for using a hardship license. 

The first is using a hardship license that allows you to drive only for very limited and specific reasons. The court will be very clear about when and where you can drive. You and your attorney can discuss which essential places you must be able to drive to, and your attorney can ask the court to approve those specific places. In most cases, you will be allowed to drive to get to and from school or work. You may be permitted to drive to attend religious services, take your children to school, or make a weekly trip to the grocery store. 

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Knoxville felony DUI defense lawyerWhile most DUI arrests result in misdemeanor charges, there are certain circumstances under which you could be facing much more serious felony DUI charges. Beyond the serious fines and prison time, having a felony on your record can impact your future job prospects and limit your housing choices.

Whether it Is because of repeated DUI arrests or other aggravating circumstances, you need to contact an experienced DUI attorney to defend you. Do not wait. Get legal help immediately.

Circumstances That Bring Felony Charges for a DUI

While being charged with a DUI is in itself a serious matter, there are several reasons why you may be facing felony charges related to your DUI arrest. These include:

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Knoxville DUI Defense LawyerMany people may be aware of the immediate impacts of being charged and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Even if you did not cause an accident and no one else was injured, you are still facing mandatory jail time, fines, driver’s license revocation, and other impacts. However, once you have served your time, paid your fines, and earned your license back, your DUI charge could still affect your life for years to come, and possibly in ways that you do not expect. Having an experienced DUI lawyer who can challenge the charges or work to get the charges reduced may help you avoid the worst.

Drunk Driving Charges in Tennessee

Outside of the immediate impacts of a DUI charge and conviction, there are repercussions that may still impact your life years down the road. Here are examples of some of the longer-term effects a DUI conviction can have:

  • Criminal record - In Tennessee, a conviction for a DUI cannot be expunged from your criminal record. Future employers who run criminal background checks will see your conviction. You may be automatically disqualified from jobs in law enforcement or jobs that require you to have a commercial driver’s license. Additionally, you may have trouble getting a student loan, impacting your ability to attend a college or other educational institution.
  • Insurance effects – After a DUI conviction, your auto insurance rates will certainly go up. Your life insurance and health insurance rates are likely to rise as well. Additional insurance will be harder to get and potentially more expensive to secure. For your auto insurance, you will be required to carry high-risk insurance, known as SR-22, until your full driving privileges are reinstated.
  • Travel and immigration issues - For United States citizens convicted of a DUI, travel abroad may become problematic. Some countries, including Canada, have restrictions on entrance for those who have DUI convictions. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a DUI conviction could impact your naturalization process, delay a green card renewal, lead to a green card being denied, or even be grounds for deportation.

Contact an Oak Ridge DUI Defense Attorney

A conviction for a DUI is not something that will go away quickly once you have paid your initial debt. For you and your future, if you are charged with a DUI you need to call an experienced Knoxville DUI attorney at The Law Office of William F. Evans. Call us at 423-449-7980 for your free initial consultation and to learn how we can help you to fight the charges.

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