You may not realize it, but each and every medication you take has a different effect in your body and could interact with one of the others you took. For people who need to drive or operate heavy machinery, it can be dangerous to take certain medications together or to combine them with alcohol or other substances.
That’s important to know, because it means you’re more likely to avoid DUI charges as a result of mixing your medications or taking too much before you drive.
Here’s an example. A common medication, diphenhydramine, is often taken for allergies. Better known by the brand name Benadryl, this drug is known to cause drowsiness and a general depression of the nervous system. It makes many people tired, lethargic or drowsy.
As a result, anyone who takes this medication shouldn’t be behind the wheel when they’re feeling tired. They should wait until they know how the medication will affect them. Then, if they believe they can drive safely, they can do so. Keep in mind that mixing this medication with other allergy medications, sleeping pills, alcohol or other substances may increase the effects, which would lead to a crash or DUI charge.
Is it possible to be charged for a DUI due to legal medications?
Absolutely. Remember that a drug like diphenhydramine can cause drowsiness, serious heart problems, coma and seizures in some patients. Every drug varies in its side effects, but many are impairing.
When you’re driving while impaired, you’re putting yourself and others at risk of grave injury or death. That’s taken seriously by the authorities. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to defend yourself, though. If you didn’t know how you’d be affected or had an unusual reaction to your normal medications, then you may be able to defend your choice to drive. Similarly, if you didn’t know you took the medication due to being drugged by someone else or misunderstanding what you were taking, then you may have a solid defense.
Your attorney will talk to you about your situation to determine what kind of defense would be best under the circumstances.