Most people accused of driving under the influence (DUI) have had a beer or a couple of glasses of wine. However, Missouri prosecutors also charge people with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).
A DUID charge could be the result of the illegal use of prohibited drugs like marijuana or heroin. Many times, a DUID charge could also be the result of someone legally using a prescription medication as ordered by their doctor. Officers can charge people when drivers admit to taking certain medications or when chemical tests detect their presence after a crash or an arrest.
Prescription medication can cause impairment just like illegal drugs or alcohol can. What’s worse is that people may feel more confident about driving while under the influence of a prescribed medication because they don’t realize that doing so breaks the law. What kind of prescription drugs put you at risk of a DUID charge?
Narcotic painkillers are a frequently abused medication
For most people, discussions of prescription drug abuse must focus on narcotic painkillers. These drugs are responsible for a significant number of overdoses. They also cause powerful addiction and can even push people into heroin use.
It is illegal to drive while using narcotic painkillers recreationally or even when using them in accordance with a doctor’s prescription. They affect your reaction time, your cognition and even your motor function, so narcotic painkillers are not safe to use before driving.
Many other prescriptions can affect your driving as well
Painkillers aren’t the only drugs that could affect how you drive. Any medication that comes with a drowsiness morning or an alert not to use heavy machinery is something you drive after taking. Quite a few prescription medications could affect how safely you drive.
- Anxiety medications like benzodiazepines
- Anti-seizure medications
- Sleeping medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Motion sickness medications
- Diarrhea medication
- Diet pills and other stimulants
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Certain antidepressants
Even over-the-counter medications like cold medication or cough syrup, when taken in excess or in combination with other medications, could affect your safety. Avoid a mistake that could lead to drug driving charges.