Understanding Car Accident Claims

Why Your Medication Needs To Be Labeled When You Carry It With You

by Lois Gibson

People who are pulled over and shortly thereafter arrested for an OWI are often shocked to hear that their own medication was the reason for their arrest. An OWI lawyer in these cases can often get the charges kicked out. However, to avoid such a shock in the future, your medication always needs to be in a pharmacy-issued container, and labeled. Here is why.

The Arresting Officer Spotted the Pills and Jumped to Conclusions

In most situations similar to yours, the arresting officer may have spotted an unlabeled container or a baggie with pills in it. He/she jumped to conclusions, assuming that you were either going to sell the pills, or you bought them for "recreational use." This is because the pills did not have a label on the bottle naming you the owner of the prescription, or that you were carrying a loose baggy, something only a drug dealer would do. 

The Arresting Officer Is Going to Assume You Took Some of the "Loose" Drug

For his/her personal safety, the arresting officer has to assume that you took some of the pills that you have in the vehicle with you in an unlabeled container or unlawful package. Officers do not know what drugs people are taking or what they are on when the they pull people over. The officers have to be very careful not to get shot, stabbed, punched, or injured by someone on drugs. Hence, if an officer sees pills in a baggy or unlabeled bottle, he/she assumes you are OWI, and arrests you as a precaution.

You Could Be Facing Other Charges Even If Your Lawyer Disproves the OWI

Even when your OWI lawyer proves that you were NOT "operating while under the influence," you may still be penalized for carrying medication in unlabeled bottle(s) or in unlawful packaging. In some states, this is a pretty serious offence, even when it has been proven that the medication is, in fact, yours. If you need to carry some extra pills with you, ask the pharmacy for an extra labeled bottle so that you can transfer some pills into a legally acceptable bottle. In the meantime, because this is your first "offence" in regards to the pills and packaging, your lawyer may be able to argue for a reduction in the fine and/or jail time. That way, if you get pulled over again, the officer will not arrest you for medication that is yours.