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Even if you are the most responsible driver and never drive after consuming alcohol or using illegal drugs, you may still get a DWI charge. You may ask, "How is that possible?" It may be surprising, but certain over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications may lead to your DWI arrest and conviction. 

Lawmakers and law enforcement officers will do everything they can do to prevent impaired drivers. Even when you take medications legally, you may still face a DWI arrest if the drug affects your driving abilities. Below is more information on how legal drugs may impair you and cause you to face legal punishments.

Impairment from legal drugs

Many OTC and prescribed medications have an impact on your motor skills and coordination. Common side effects of legal drugs include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Slower movement
  • Difficulty focusing

These symptoms may negatively impact your ability to safely drive a car. The police do not care whether the drug is legal for you to use–only that it results in impairment. 

Common medications that cause impairments

There are a number of common legal drugs that may impair you:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Sleeping pills
  • Valium
  • Pain relievers
  • Antidepressants

Even taking a drug for allergies or cold symptoms may lead to an arrest. 

Legal drugs and crashes

According to a nationwide study, 47 percent of drivers involved in fatal accidents tested positive for prescription drugs. Out of all the prescription medications found, the most common were painkillers - more than drivers who were using marijuana and cocaine. This gives you an idea of why the police take prescription drug use and driving so seriously.

Fighting DWI charges

If an officer arrests you because of legal drug impairment, you may face serious penalties, including jail time and fines. However, it may be possible to defend yourself against these charges with the right legal help.

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