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Medication side effects and DUI

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2017 | DUI

Many people in Fort Mitchell are aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated by alcohol, but many of them are not aware that the use of certain medications can lead to DUIs. The effects of some prescription drugs can make some vehicle operators just as lethal as inebriated motorists. Drivers must stay alert, responsive and mentally capable. Some prescription drugs have side effects that can interfere with the way people see, act and think. Some over-the-counter medications can cause similar reactions. People who plan to drive after taking their medications should learn about how their decisions may lead to DUI charges.

The effects of medications on motorist behavior

Some prescription drugs can cause motorists to feel sleepy and to develop slurred speech and other symptoms similar to those that occur when drivers are drunk on alcohol. Other symptoms include dizziness, loss of muscle coordination and incoherence. Currently, there is no roadside test law enforcement can administer to detect if motorists are suffering from the effects of alcohol or medication intoxication. They can, however, request for inebriated motorists to take field sobriety tests.

How law enforcement handles medicated drivers

Sobriety tests can help law enforcement to determine if drivers are physically capable of operating their vehicles safely. People who fail these tests or are still are under suspicion of intoxication can be arrested. Blood work is taken at the time of booking to determine the presence of illegal substances and blood alcohol content.

The problem with this situation is that drivers who do not have anything in their systems except their medications are often unfairly charged with DUIs. To prove their innocence and avoid the consequences of this type of charge, they often must go to trial. Unless the courts rule otherwise, some people who take medications, drive and have side effects have to live with the embarrassment and potential consequences that come from their situations.

Those who take medications for medical conditions and relief from certain health issues like allergies and pain should pay more attention to the way their bodies respond after taking their doses. They should also read the warning labels on their medications to learn more about the potential side effects they face. If they are not sure of their reactions or even if they feel a little less alert than usual, they should avoid operating their vehicles until they feel normal.

DUI charges are often challenging to overcome. People facing this type of charge should speak to an attorney about their situations to learn more about their options.