Can I Get a DUI for Driving When on Legally Prescribed Drugs? | Suffern, NY DUI Attorney

When people hear that someone was charged with a DUI, they automatically assume the person made the reckless decision to drink and drive. However, this is not always the case. In many instances, someone taking legal prescription medication may not realize the side effects before getting behind the wheel. If you’re facing legal trouble after driving while taking legally prescribed drugs, you’ll want to act fast. Keep reading to discover what you need to know about driving and taking medication, and learn how a Rockland County DUI attorney can help.

Does Driving While Taking Prescribed Drugs Warrant a DUI?

Though you may think having a prescription for your medication will prevent you from facing criminal charges, if the medicine impairs your ability to drive, you can still face a DUI. This is because medication can affect your ability to operate a vehicle. Having a prescription does not absolve you of a crime.

If caught driving under the influence of prescription medication, you will face the same penalties as someone who drove while intoxicated. The officer who pulls you over will look for signs of impairment, like slurred speech, confusion, and slowed reflexes.

What Can Impair a Driver?

There are a number of medications that can make it difficult for someone to drive due to the side effects that cause impairment. This includes both legally prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Examples of medicines that have side effects include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Antianxiety
  • Pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Sleeping aids

This is due to the fact that many of these medications cause drowsiness, putting the driver at risk of losing control of the vehicle. Similarly, they can cause impairment in that they may have blurry vision due to drying out their eyes.

Before beginning a new medication, it’s vital to talk to your doctor about all possible side effects. Similarly, avoid driving until you understand how it affects you.

What Should I Do if Arrested?

If you’re arrested following a traffic stop, ensuring you comply with the officer’s orders is crucial. If you try to resist arrest or flee, you can gain additional charges.

You also should remain silent. If an officer asks if you take any medication, do not answer. If you say “yes,” you are incriminating yourself. If you say “no,” you can face criminal charges for lying to an officer. Inform the officer that you are using the right to remain silent and do not speak with anyone until your lawyer arrives.

When you’re in legal trouble, you need a competent attorney to help keep your record clean. The Law Offices of Carl Spector is ready to represent you. Reach out today to connect with a seasoned attorney who can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances.