Most adults who are out of their early twenties have a strong understanding of their personal alcohol tolerance. Years of social drinking allow people to develop slightly better tolerance, meaning they don’t experience the effects of alcohol so intensely. That experience also helps people learn to gauge their level of impairment and know when to stop drinking.
You may be very responsible and limit yourself to one beverage when going out with friends or co-workers. However, you may fail to take into consideration how other substances might affect your body’s metabolism. If you take certain medications, even one beer during happy hour could lead to a Missouri driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge.
Alcohol interacts with many medications
Quite a few popular prescription drugs interact with alcohol. Sometimes, these drugs amplify the effects of alcohol, meaning that just one drink after you have taken a prescription might affect your balance or decision-making ability. Other times, the combination of alcohol with the prescription drug can affect crucial bodily functions, such as raising your blood pressure and elevating your heart rate.
Many of these drugs come with special warning labels on their prescription vials, warning people not to consume alcohol while taking the medication. Alcohol interactions can include cardiac symptoms, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, dizziness, liver damage, stomach ulcers, impaired cognition, internal bleeding, vomiting and changes in blood pressure. There is also an increased risk of overdose when someone combines prescribed medication with alcohol.
Checking to see if your prescription is one of the dozen that interacts with alcohol is necessary if you frequently drink and are about to start a new medication.
Medication alone can lead to charges
Even if officers can’t charge you with a DWI based on your blood alcohol concentration when they pull you over, the presence of certain prescription drugs in your system can be enough to run afoul of the law.
The combination of prescription drugs with recreational alcohol use can seem downright irresponsible to police officers and prosecutors. While you feel okay to drive, they may try to claim that you were unsafe at the wheel.
Understanding what factors increase your risk of DWI charges can keep you safer on the Missouri roads.