What are the consequences of driving after taking a prescription?

You may obey traffic rules, avoid taking illicit substances and never get behind the wheel after having anything to drink. The last thing you expect when you take a legally prescribed medication is to face DUI charges. However, this could be a scenario for you and other Missouri residents if an officer determined a medication you were taking impaired your driving.

Many different medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, have the potential to negatively impact a driver, states the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Medications that have known impairment side effects come with warnings on their labels. However, some labels may be difficult to read, or you may have an unexpected reaction with a medication that previously had no effect on you. It is also possible to inadvertently mix a prescription with a vitamin, supplement or other medicine that creates an intoxicating effect.

The most common types of medication to cause driver impairment include antihistamines, antianxiety medication, antidepressants and sleeping aids. Medications for serious conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, seizures and diabetes might also cause unexpected side effects that could be dangerous when you are behind the wheel. These might cause you to become drowsy or dizzy, affect your concentration and reaction times or even make you pass out.

DUI charges are not limited to drunk driving. If you were pulled over after an officer noticed you swerving or if it was determined that you had a medication in your system that you should not take while driving, you might be charged with a DUI. This information in this blog should not replace the advice of an attorney.