What Is a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance?

This article lists the Schedule 4 substances with a description of the drug.

A Schedule 4 Substance is;

  • A substance that has a low potential for abuse relative to substances in schedule 3.
  • A substance that has currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  • Abuse of the substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances in schedule 3.

Controlled Substances included in Schedule 4:

Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any quantity of the following substances having a potential for abuse associated with a depressant effect on the central nervous system, including their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers if the existence of the salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:

  • Barbital – Barbiturate, long acting sedative and sleep inducing
  • Chloral Betaine – Sedative-hypnotic drug
  • Chloral Hydrate – Sedative-hypnotic drug
  • Chlordiazepoxide – Sedative
  • Clonazepam – – Sedative, used to treat anxiety
  • Clorazepate – Sedative
  • Dextropropoxyphene – analgesic in the opioid category
  • Diazepam – Sedative
  • Ethchlorvynol – Sedative
  • Ethinamate – Sedative, used to treat insomnia
  • Flunitrazepam – benzodiazepine, known as Rohypnol
  • Flurazepam – Sedative
  • Lorazepam – Sedative
  • Mebutamate – Sedative
  • Meprobamate – Anxiolytic
  • Methohexital – Anesthetic
  • Methylphenobarbital – Sedative, used as an anticonvulsant
  • Oxazepam – Sedative
  • Paraldehyde – Sedative
  • Petrichloral – Sedative
  • Phenobarbital – Barbituate
  • Prazepam – Benzodiazepine

Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any quantity of the following substances having a potential for abuse associated with an effect on the central nervous system, including their salts, optical, positional, or geometric isomers, and salts of the isomers if the existence of the salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible:

  • Fenfluramine – A serotonin releasing agent, used as an appetite suppressant. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite, mood, and other functions.

Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any quantity of the following substances having a potential for abuse associated with a stimulant effect on the central nervous system, including their salts, optical, positional, or geometric isomers, and salts of the isomers if the existence of the salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:

  • Diethylpropion – Stimulant of amphetamine class, used as an appetite suppressant
  • Phentermine – Anorectic, used to lose weight
  • Pemoline, including organometallic complexes and chelates of pemoline – stimulant drug of the 4-oxazolidinone class
  • Cathine – Stimulant
  • d-norpseudoephedrine – Stimulant, amphetamine-like drug

New Drugs

New substances can be added to the list of Schedule 4 substances as they are created or discovered. The substances listed here are on the schedule as they exist on the date this article was written.

MCL 333.7218

Operating While Intoxicated by a Schedule 4 Substance

As you can see from this short list, schedule 4 substances includes a mix of sedatives, barbituates, benzodiazepines, and stimulants.

Operating with the presence of a controlled substance 1 or cocaine doesn’t apply here. Even though these drugs are controlled substances, they are not Schedule 1 substances or cocaine that would be subject to the operating with the presence of a controlled substance law. OWPCS means “any” amount of the drug in a person’s system is enough for a conviction.

The drugs listed under Schedule 4 substances would not fall under the category of a Schedule 1 substance (not to state the obvious). Therefore, you could not be convicted for operating while intoxicated for simply having these drugs in your system.

For a conviction, there would need to be an additional showing a person was “under the influence” of a controlled substance. Under the influence means a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened. The test is whether the person’s mental or physical condition was significantly affected and the defendant was no longer able to operate a vehicle in a normal manner.

How Do You Know If You Are Under The Influence?

The OWI alcohol laws make it easy for a lawyer to figure out whether a person is intoxicated. The legislature has given us the cutoff of .08 blood alcohol level for per se intoxication. No such per se cutoff for intoxication exists for a schedule 4 substance.

Each of these substances are different and work a different way. Stimulants and sedatives are opposites. A stimulant may actually improve your ability to drive, instead of that ability being substantially lessened. A small amount of sedatives could put someone half to sleep as they drive, though the person might get from A to B just fine. The question is whether the person’s ability to drive is substantially lessened, or visibly impaired.

It’s a factual determination. All these drugs would effect a person differently, depending on their tolerance, experience, size, etc. Some of these drugs have established “therapeutic” levels, where a doctor can say that a certain amount in the blood stream is a normal amount. However, that “therapeutic” level could still render someone to be under the influence. In a jury trial the jury would determine whether the facts as the jury decides them show a person to be under the influence.

In a trial we would look to how was the person’s driving? How did they perform on the field sobriety tests? While not the act of driving, the prosecutor will use the field sobriety tests to show a person was impaired. If the person can’t walk a straight line, how can they drive a car well? That’s what the prosecutor will say. Don’t take the field sobriety tests – no one ever passes those. MCL 257.625.

The Driving Part of Operating While Intoxicated

I believe it all comes down to driving. How was the person driving? That will tell us everything we need to know. The police and prosecutors often call a driving move “bad driving” when in reality the “bad driving” is a technical driving violation and is something everyone does.

For example, going through a steady yellow light when there was adequate time to stop is a civil infraction. This could be called “bad driving.”

But let’s think about. We all go through yellow lights. We often go through yellow lights when we are perfectly sober. I see people do it all the time. Going through a yellow can certainly give the police a reason to pull you over but that should automatically mean your ability to drive was substantially lessened.

There are a hundred ways to violate the motor vehicle code. A violation should not equal the lessened ability to drive without more. Hey, there’s a lot of bad drivers out there! We need to look at an alleged intoxicated driver and really compare them to your average driver in rush hour anxious to get somewhere.

What is the Penalty for Possession of a Schedule 4 Controlled Substance?

Possession of a controlled substance without a prescription or other legal reason for possession is a felony, punishable by up to 2 years in prison, a $2,000.00 fine, or both. MCL 333.7403(2)(b)(ii).

Contact Us at 734.883.9584

Call Sam Bernstein at 734.883.9584 or e-mail at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com.

Sam Bernstein is an attorney in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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ArborYpsi Law

We practice criminal defense. Our job is to know this stuff. When we don’t know something (we don’t pretend to know everything), we will study, study, study, until we know it. That’s part of our job too. What if you were charged with operating while intoxicated under the influence of a little-known schedule 4 substance? Then our job is to understand the ins and outs of that drug for your case. (Picture this, a lawyer admitting he doesn’t know everything). And you better believe we will know that drug better than the prosecutor for your trial. That’s what you expect of us for representation and that is what we will deliver.

ArborYpsi Law is located in Ann Arbor, right across the street from the 14A-1 District Court. We regularly represent clients in criminal cases in Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township, and Saline.

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