You were careful not to drink any alcohol at a recent family gathering, because you knew that you had to drive home. And you have a rule that when you drive, you do not drink. But you also knew that your system includes the anti-anxiety drug you take to fend off the occasional crippling panic attacks. You have always understood the potentially dangerous interaction between alcohol and prescription drugs.
However, that evening while driving home, you are surprised when a police officer stops you on suspected charges of DUI. You had not had a drink, and you wonder the reason for this. It turns out the side effects of your medication have led to this situation. You did know.
Side effects include blurred vision, fatigue
In Georgia, you can be charged for DUI for using legal prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication. Impaired driving no matter its cause is impaired driving and can lead to a DUI charge. The potential penalties are the same whether you are drunk or using prescription medication. If convicted, you face incarceration, probation, fines and loss of driver’s license.
The use of the following drugs and medications may cause impaired driving:
- Pain medication that includes opioids
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Anti-seizure medication used in treating epilepsy
- Certain anti-depressants
- Anti-psychotic medication used in treating bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
- Certain over-the-counter cold remedies
The side effects when using these drugs may include drowsiness, fatigue, memory loss, nausea, blurred vision and dizziness. You understand the importance of taking care of your health, and the medication you rely on is helping. But be careful. Your reaction to some medication could lead to a DUI arrest, or even worse, a serious motor vehicle accident.