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Transporting Prescription Drugs

During the opioid crises in the ‘90s, it wasn’t uncommon to hear about someone getting arrested on prescription drug charges after what seemed like a routine traffic stop. In many of these cases, it was never made entirely clear how the police learned about the driver’s issues with the prescription drugs. At the time, many people, even those who had a legal prescription for different drugs, were worried about what would happen if they were pulled over while transporting the prescription drugs.

The Worry about running into legal trouble because you have prescription drugs in your vehicle continues to be a real problem for some people. If you take prescription drugs in your vehicle, there are a few things you should know.

Obviously, there are times when you need to transport prescription medication. The police understand that. You need to bring it home after picking it up from the pharmacy and there’s a good chance that you’ll have to bring one or two of the pills with you when you go to work or are running errands.

If the medication is still in the pharmacy bag when you’re pulled over, it’s unlikely that the police will bother you too much, especially if you’re polite and aren’t acting like you’re under the influence of anything that is impacting your ability to drive.

If you’re transporting prescription drugs in your car, you should keep them contained to either the prescription bottle they came in or a small pill case that can be tucked into your pocket/purse/wallet/etc. If you’re pulled over and the officer spots loose pills scattered about your vehicle, they could start questioning you and look into the legitimacy of the prescriptions. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong and really do need to take the medication, the process of sorting everything out with the police will be exhausting, time-consuming, and stressful. It’s something you want to avoid.

Another reason to take care when transporting prescription medications is to protect both yourself and your vehicle. If someone with a drug addiction investigates your car and spots the pills, they could decide to break into your vehicle and possibly even assault you before stealing the medication.

If you’re transporting prescription medication in your vehicle, you should always have the original documentation in your vehicle as well. The documentation goes a long way towards decreasing a possible possession of controlled substance charge.