Despite the warnings on many prescription and over-the-counter medicine pill bottles about drugs causing drowsiness or dizziness – and not operating vehicles or heavy machinery – many people still drive while taking medications. In some cases this is not a problem. However, if a drug label has warnings such as these, you need to be careful.
It is dangerous for you, of course, to drive while medicated. You don’t want to cause an accident that injures you or anyone else. But it can also cause legal problems. You can be charged with DUI for driving under the influence of medications, even if they were prescribed by your physician.
Any drug that impairs your ability to drive can result in DUI drugs charges. This includes:
- Prescription painkillers
- Sleeping pills
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Allergy medication
- ADHD medication
What happens if you are charged with DUI drugs?
Like any DUI, you will face serious penalties if you are charged with a DUI for prescription or over-the-counter medications. The penalties for a conviction may include:
- Loss of your driver’s license
- Steep fines and fees
- Possible jail time
- Substance abuse screening and education
- A conviction that cannot be expunged from your record
- These penalties can affect your life and your job. A conviction also means that any subsequent conviction, whether for a DUI involving drugs or alcohol, will have much harsher penalties.
Fighting these charges alone will be difficult. It is a good idea to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected.