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Can you get a DUI when taking prescription medication?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Drug Charges

Many people are aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, but did you know that driving while taking certain prescription medications can also lead to a DUI charge? Even if you have a valid prescription, operating a vehicle while impaired by these drugs is illegal and can result in serious consequences.

Drivers should understand the implications of getting behind the wheel when taking some prescription medications.

Prescription drugs and impaired driving

Prescription medications, such as opioids, benzodiazepines and certain antidepressants, can cause side effects that impair your ability to drive safely. These side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, slowed reaction time and difficulty concentrating. When you are under the influence of these medications, it can compromise your judgment and motor skills, making it dangerous to operate a vehicle.

Your responsibility as a driver

It is your responsibility to understand the potential side effects of any prescription medication you are taking and to follow the instructions provided by your doctor and pharmacist. If your medication includes a warning not to drive while taking it or if you feel impaired in any way, you should refrain from getting behind the wheel. Failure to do so puts yourself and others at risk and can lead to a DUI charge.

Consequences of a prescription drug DUI

If you get caught driving under the influence of prescription drugs, you may face the same penalties as someone charged with an alcohol-related DUI. These consequences can include fines, mandatory drug education or treatment programs, license suspension and even jail time. A DUI conviction can also have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional life, such as increased insurance rates, difficulty finding employment and damage to your reputation.

If you feel uncertain about your ability to drive safely while taking a prescription medication, err on the side of caution and do not get behind the wheel. Understanding the potential side effects of medications can help you make safe driving decisions.