Often, the symptoms of a medical malady can make it impossible to carry out the parts of your day that help you pay your bills and enjoy your life. Medicine is one of the ways you can continue to live your life while treating an illness or injury.
Unfortunately, many medications have side effects that can still inhibit your ability to complete certain tasks. In some cases, your prescription medication could make it difficult for you to drive safely.
Here’s what you should know about when your prescribed medicine could lead to a DWI.
DWI applies to more than alcohol and illegal drugs
When you think of DWI charges, you may dismiss them, knowing that you do not drink and drive. However, the “driving while intoxicated” charge is not limited to alcohol. DWI charges can apply to legal prescription medications, such as:
- Pain relievers, especially opioids
- Sleeping medication
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- Diet pills
- Cold and allergy medications
These, and other medications, can make it difficult to focus on the road or slow your reaction time. In some cases, your prescription can make you extremely drowsy, causing you to fall asleep behind the wheel.
Avoiding an accident (and a DWI)
Since these medications can make driving dangerous, they fall under the category of “intoxicating substances” that could lead to a DWI. When you start a new medicine, you should talk to your medical care team about the side effects.
You should also carefully read the side effects on the label. Often, a label will list the instruction, “do not operate heavy machinery.” This instruction means you should not drive while you are on that medication.
If you are unsure of the effects a new prescription will have on your driving ability, ask a friend or family member to help you get around while learning how your body will react. You can avoid DWI charges when you take precautions with a new medication.