Xanax is a drug that is legally prescribed but it is not legal to drive under the influence of the drug.
No motorist can legally drive a motor vehicle if under the influence of a drug, legally prescribed or not such as Xanax or other anti-anxiety drugs. This is different from a DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol, where a motorist can be charged if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08% or higher or if they are impaired from the alcohol. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor. You do face felony charges if:
- This is your 4th DUI conviction in 10 years
- You caused an accident with serious bodily injuries
- You caused an accident with fatal injuries
- You have a prior felony DUI conviction
If you were driving with a passenger under the age of 14 and were speeding, were appreciably impaired or caused an accident, you could face felony child endangerment charges that carries state prison time of up to 6 years.
How Does The Prosecutor Prove The Crime
To be convicted of a DUI Xanax, the DA must show that the drug has impaired to an appreciable degree, your ability to operate a motor vehicle as that of a reasonably prudent and cautious driver in full possession of his/her faculties.
The only way to objectively detect the presence of a drug is by a blood or urine test. If the officer who stops and detains you has probable cause to believe you were impaired by a drug, then you may be asked to perform certain FST or field sobriety tests.
No motorist, unless you are under probation, are under 21 or a commercial driver, is obligated to perform any coordination test requested by a police officer or to answer any questions about alcohol or drug use. The officer may still have probable cause to ask that you submit to a blood or urine test based on your driving conduct and overall demeanor, which may include slurred speech, confusion or lack of coordination.
If probable cause did exist to stop and detain you and to request that you take a blood or urine test and you refuse, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year for a first DUI or DUI Xanax offense with no restricted license availability. A second DUI Xanax offense with a test refusal is a 2-year license suspension. Your refusal can also be used against you at trial as indicating your impairment. It is also an aggravating factor whereby you likely face jail time.