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Can you get a DUI if you’re on prescription medications?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2021 | DUI |

When you get behind the wheel, it’s expected that you will drive safely. Driving safely means that you will not be impaired by any kind of substance, whether that’s alcohol, over-the-counter medications, illicit drugs or prescription medications.

It is possible to face a DUI if you drive while impaired by a prescription medication. Even though you have the legal authority to possess and use the medication, the impairment that the medication causes may make it unsafe for you to drive.

Common side effects may make it too dangerous to drive

You should know that some common side effects have the potential to make it too dangerous for you to drive. For example, some dangerous yet common side effects may include:

  • An inability to focus
  • Reduced reaction times
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness

When you’re driving, the last thing you want is to feel like you’re too nauseated to pay attention or that you can’t focus on what you’re doing. Just like if you were impaired by alcohol, these side effects may make it so that it’s harder for you to pay attention, stay in your lane and react appropriately to hazards on the road.

The penalties can be significant in prescription DUI cases

It’s the reality that the penalties for a prescription DUI could be serious. Some of the possible penalties may include:

  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Heavy fines
  • Educational course requirements
  • License suspension
  • Addiction treatment

While it may feel unfair to face a DUI for prescription drug impairment, the reality is that impairment can put your life at risk as well as the lives of others on the road. This is why impairment of any kind is taken seriously.

Defend yourself against unfair DUI charges

If you are accused of driving while impaired and didn’t know that you were or that you’d have those side effects, you may have a strong defense. It’s a good idea to defend yourself because the penalties for a conviction can be serious. Take the allegations seriously, and remember that you have a right to learn more about your legal options.