A 47-year-old Tennessee man was recently pulled by police for speeding. According to a news report, the driver claimed to be working for Uber and said he had been awake and driving for 24 hours.
He told a police officer that he had taken the prescription stimulant Adderall to stay awake. He later said that he had also taken the anti-anxiety prescription drug Xanax and over-the-counter cough medication Nyquil. He was taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence.
As you know, Tennessee law is clear that it is illegal to drive while “under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system.” The same law spells out the legal limit for alcohol in a driver’s system: .08 percent alcohol concentration in either the driver’s blood or breath.
The Uber driver knows well how harshly Tennessee deals with DUI violations. According to a TV news report, he served 11 months and 29 days after being convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2009.
Uber said the man was indeed a driver for the company, but was not driving for them at the time of his arrest. The company said it had been more than 12 hours since his last Uber ride when he was pulled over.
Uber said according to state law, a person is ineligible for employment with the company if they have been convicted of DUI within the last seven years. The suspect’s most recent driving conviction was nine years ago.
We don’t know anything more about this case than what was reported in the media, but we do know that in Tennessee, you can be arrested and convicted for DUI even if the medications you consumed were prescribed to you by your doctor.
If you face charges for driving while using a prescribed medication, talk to an attorney experienced in effective DUI defense.