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Can prescription drugs lead to a DWI charge?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | DWI

When people hear about arrests for DWI, they often think of alcohol as the primary culprit. However, prescription drugs can also impair one’s ability to drive safely and lead to legal trouble.

Understanding the impact of medications on motor vehicle operation is the responsibility of everyone who takes these drugs and has a license.

How do prescription drugs affect driving?

Taking prescription medicines, even according to a doctor’s instructions, can impair driving. Symptoms may include drowsiness, blurry vision, dizziness or slow reaction times. Drugs that commonly trigger these side effects include painkillers, antianxiety medications and even some antidepressants.

What are the legal implications?

The law does not distinguish between sources of impairment. Whether a drug is legal, illegal, prescription or over-the-counter, driving under the influence of any stimulant can result in a DWI charge. The key factor is whether the substance compromises one’s ability to drive safely.

What is law enforcement’s approach?

Police officers use various methods to determine intoxication, including field sobriety tests. An officer who suspects impairment may request a blood test to confirm the presence of substances in the body.

How do you avoid a DWI charge when using medication?

Different drugs affect people in different ways. Users should note their reactions and discuss them with their doctors. Those taking medication that degrades their driving abilities should arrange alternative transportation until they can safely operate a vehicle.

Those behind the wheel taking prescription medications are just as liable as those consuming liquor. By adopting a cautious mindset, drivers can avoid charges and contribute to safer roadways.