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Driving on medications? Watch out for a DWI

| Mar 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense

If you’re driving while taking prescription medications, it’s time to stop and think about how those medications could be affecting you. Prescription medications have the potential to cause serious side effects that could impact your ability to drive safely, such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

…and others. These kinds of symptoms may make it hard to focus on the road and could result in a collision.

If you need to take a prescription medication, remember that it could lead to a DWI if you drive with any kind of impairment. Whether that impairment is just being tired or seeing double from those medications, you should note that the police can hold you accountable.

What should you do if you’re stopped for violating a traffic law?

If you are stopped for violating a traffic law, the officer will likely want to see your license and proof of insurance. They may ask you where you’re going or what you were doing. You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, and you can state, “I don’t feel comfortable answering that.” Most people are honest, stating that they were heading to work or home. It’s most important not to say anything that could be used against you, such as that you were coming from a bar or club.

If an officer asks you if you’ve been drinking, you’ll be able to say no. If they ask if you’ve taken any drugs or medications, you don’t have to admit to it. Keep in mind that the officer is just trying to gather information at this point, so you shouldn’t give them more answers than are required by law.

What should you do if the officer accuses you of drinking and driving?

The officer may accuse you of driving while impaired and ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. If you haven’t been drinking, this won’t show that you’ve taken prescriptions or drugs. You may be asked to complete field sobriety tests. If you fail, the officer may opt to arrest you. At that point, you have a right to ask for your attorney to help you through this situation and protect your rights.