Can You Get A DUI From Prescription Meds And OTC Medications?

103576988Driving Under Influence isn’t limited to intoxication from alcohol. Plenty of defendants were charged because they ingested other substances that impaired their ability to drive, hence putting the public at risk. Some of these are prescription and over-the-counter medications. Be sure to look into the side effects of whatever drugs you are taking. Exercise caution by avoiding the wheel until after the effects have subsided.

Cold and Allergy Medications

It is common to get colds and allergic reactions. When you take medications to banish their symptoms, you are also probably ingesting sedatives that might cause drowsiness. Others have stimulants that increase nervousness. These ingredients are the reason why many of them come with warnings on the label that they should not be taken by those intending to drive. These might not be prohibited drugs but their effects can be just as dangerous and so charges may be filed against violators.


There are many classes of painkillers. If you are going to drive, be sure to take those that trigger significant intoxication. Stick to ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen. Avoid things like codeine and morphine as they are potent sedatives that often leave people very sleepy. The last thing you want to do is fall asleep at the wheel and cause accidents that could endanger your life or somebody else’s. Even at a low dose, reaction time will become impaired and sometimes those split-second decisions make the difference between life and death.

Weight Loss Medications

Prescription meds for weight loss may contain amphetamine which is a powerful stimulant. It is also addictive so it should only be taken under the strict directions of a physician. Even a small dose is enough to trigger anxiety and paranoia which can adversely affect driving behavior. Patients taking this drug should refrain from driving as their decision-making may be impaired.

Should you be caught by a law enforcer with medication DUI, call a defense attorney immediately. It will be difficult to convince an officer that the meds were for a real health issue. A savvy lawyer will be able to get your case dismissed or at least lower the penalty.

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