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Can you get a DUI for taking prescription medications?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | DUI |

Any time you’re driving, it’s expected that you are not impaired by any drugs or alcohol. You need to follow the traffic laws and should not make errors linked with impairment.

Most people think that if they don’t drink alcohol before driving that they won’t face a DUI, but did you know that you could face a DUI for taking a prescription medication? If you become dizzy, drowsy or have other symptoms of impairment caused by a prescription medication, you could face a DUI and end up fighting your case in court.

Why can you get a DUI with prescription drugs?

Any kind of substance that causes impairment may lead to a DUI. Whether the medication is available over the counter or you have to have a prescription, it’s the side effects that matter.

For example, if you become drowsy from the medication and crash into someone, you could face a DUI. If you become jittery and are speeding and driving recklessly, a prescription drug-related DUI is a possibility.

Some of the side effects that could cause you to drive dangerously or recklessly include:

  • Dizziness
  • An upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety or anxiousness
  • Double vision

Any time you take a medication, it’s your responsibility to see how the medication affects you before you drive. For example, if you’re put on a muscle relaxant that makes you drowsy and relaxed, it’s better for you to hire a driver to take you to work or to stay home instead of driving to your destination. On the other hand, if you take a medication and feel fine after several hours, you’re probably okay to drive.

Talk to your doctor about the side effects that you could face

If you need to drive for work or other responsibilities, ask your doctor about the common side effects that come with any new medication you’re prescribed. You can also check for black box warnings and side effects on the bottle. To be extra cautious, you may also want to discuss your concerns with the pharmacist, so they can tell you if a new medication will interact with anything you normally take, like vitamins.

Doing these things will help you prevent a serious crash and a DUI that you’d need to defend against.