Can I Get a DUI From a Prescription Medication?
When people hear the term “DUI,” they almost assuredly connect the offense with alcohol. The truth of the matter is that alcohol is just one of the substances that can impair a person’s ability to drive. If you are found to be under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications, you can be charged with DUI.
Mixing prescriptions medications and driving is sometimes just as dangerous as going to the bar, consuming alcohol and then driving home. The fact that you have a prescription from a licensed doctor does not mean they medicine will not cause impairment. Different medications affect drivers in different ways, so it can be difficult to determine whether or not you should drive after taking your medication. This is something that you should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist.
It is easy to measure the amount of alcohol in the body’s system with a breathalyzer test. There are definitive laws in each state which dictating the legal limit . However, to determine the level of prescription medication in someone’s system, law enforcement would have to request a blood test, and then send that blood sample to a toxicologist for testing. There are, however, certain medications that can impair drivers and do so more frequently than others:
- Antidepressants can cause sedation
- Valium can cause the same effects of a blood alcohol content of 0.10
- Antihistamines can make drivers drowsy
- Decongestants can cause drowsiness and dizziness
- Sleeping pills can impair the ability to focus, even the morning after they are taken
- Hydrocodone can cause delayed reaction times and sedation
If you are taking any of the above prescription medication or one that is not on the list, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your ability to drive safely. Do not rely on your ability to monitor your own level of impairment.
At Hawkins Spizman Fortas, we can defend you if you have been charged with DUI in Atlanta after taking prescription medication. We have experience in the local court system and may be able to lessen the impact of your charges. Call our office today for a free case evaluation.