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How taking medications can lead to a DUI/DWI charge

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2017 | Blog

Many people in Missouri are well aware that they are only a few drinks away from a DWI. But not many of them realize that use of store-bought medications and prescriptions drugs can lead to DWI charges too. Some medications produce side effects that can make completely sober people appear and act intoxicated. Their actions behind the wheel may mimic those of drunk motorists.

You may undergo sobriety field checks if the police pull you over on suspicion of intoxication. Even if you have a valid prescription for your medications, your field sobriety test results, statements and actions could still lead law enforcement to believe you were drinking before you got behind the wheel. Learn how prescription medications can result in DWI charges so you can do what is necessary to avoid them in the future.

How drugs can lead to impairment 

Once you make the decision to use any substance that has the potential to alter your speech, sight, cognitive and physical functions, you are gambling with your life. Many drug interactions can disrupt your ability to think and function normally. The use of alcohol with drugs often magnifies those effects. It is important to read the labels and pay attention to the list of potential side effects on the medications you use. You need to be able to realize when you are experiencing those side effects. 

The burden of proof 

Law enforcement may ask you to provide blood and urine specimens to identify the substances you were on at the time of your arrest. However, some drugs do not leave the body right away. Some drugs take days and weeks to become undetectable after use, even though they are no longer influencing or affecting your behavior. Keep in mind that it is possible for you to get a DWI charge without being under the influence if officers get a warrant requiring you to provide chemical samples for testing. 

All is not lost if you are facing a prescription drug DWI charge. It is important for you to consider working with an attorney for a favorable resolution. Do not forget that if you use medication that can cause impairment, you could find yourself with a DWI charge.


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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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