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Did you know you could get a DUI from a prescription medication?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

When you take medications that you’re prescribed, you trust that they will be safe for you. If your doctor didn’t mention that you could have side effects, then you may not be expecting to feel drowsy or unwell as a result of the medications, either.

Unfortunately, it is possible for you to face a DUI as a result of using a prescription medication. DUIs can be given to anyone who drives while impaired, even if the impairing substance is totally legal.

What are the medications most likely to cause impairment?

Everyone reacts differently to the medications they’re given, so it’s not possible to make an assumption about the medication that could make you the most impaired. However, there are some medications that are more likely to cause impairments than others. Those may include drugs such as:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Stimulants
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Anxiety medications

For example, opioid pain medications are among the most common culprits in cases like this. Opioids can cause serious problems with judgment and may slow reflexes. Additionally, they can make some people disoriented or drowsy.

Anti-anxiety medications have the potential to cause impairment, too. They may result in drowsiness or disorientation when they’re first being used or when they’re used in strong doses.

These kinds of symptoms may happen across many kinds of drug types. On top of those, other symptoms, like nausea, an upset stomach, diarrhea or headaches could lead to someone driving strangely while behind the wheel.

Don’t drive if you don’t know how you’ll be affected by a medication

To avoid trouble with the law, the best thing you can do is remember not to drive until you know how a medication will affect you. If it’s likely that a medication will make you drowsy, take it when you know that you won’t need to drive to see how impairing it is. You may want to use a ridesharing service or to ask a friend or family member to drive you to a destination if a medication makes it dangerous for you to drive. Doing this prevents a DUI while also helping you avoid a serious collision.

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