Most people assume charges of driving under the influence involve overindulging on alcoholic beverages. However, DUI charges cover a wide range of drugs, both illegal and legal, prescription and over-the-counter.
In every state in the country, if a person’s driving is determined to be impaired by any drug(s), he or she can be arrested and potentially convicted of DUI.
Many legal drugs cause side effects that can impact your ability to react to unexpected situations on the road. Medications can impair:
— Motor skills and coordination
— Focus and attention
— Ability to stay awake
— Sense of time and space
– Vision (by causing dizziness and blurred vision)
The Food and Drug Administration recommends that people who are taking some common over-the-counter drugs, such as antihistamines, stay off the roads because they can cause some of these effects in certain people.
Of course, if everyone on any medication stayed off the roads, they would be virtually empty. However, it’s important to read all medication warnings and labels for possible side effects, particularly if you’re taking a new medication or mixing it with another one for the first time. It’s a good idea not to drive after starting any new prescription until you see how it affects you.
If you’re pulled over for a DUI and you don’t have any alcohol or illegal drugs in your system, it’s best not to volunteer information about what medications you have taken recently to officers. If you’re arrested, you should seek legal help as soon as possible to help ensure that your rights are protected.
Source: Findlaw, “You Can Get a DUI on Legal Drugs,” accessed Jan. 20, 2017