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Can my prescription medication lead to a DUI?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2021 | DUI Defense | 0 comments

It is relatively common knowledge that alcohol or illegal drugs can lead to a DUI. However, if you take prescription medications, an officer could still arrest you for driving under the influence.

Prescription medications are vital to many people in the Chicago area, and many have significant side effects. Side effects of medications can vary widely, so it is no surprise that many people dismiss them.

Here’s what you should know before you get behind the wheel after taking your prescription medication.

What it is and what it does

Whether you have been taking a medication for years or you are headed to the pharmacy to get your first prescription, it is important to understand the essential information about your medicine, including:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • Common side effects
  • How long it stays in your body
  • How it interacts with other medications or substances (such as caffeine or alcohol)

There are many sources for learning about your medications. You should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or consult information online so that you understand how your medications could impact your ability to drive safely.

Not quite like alcohol

While not all cases are as exciting as the Chicagoan who drove on a missing wheel, someone driving under the influence of prescription medication could face DUI charges.

When you start a new medication, you should avoid driving until you know how your body handles the drug. You should also consider that factors like how much you ate and your stress levels could impact how your body processes and responds to your medication.

Officers do not have the same measurement devices for prescription medications as they do for alcohol. However, they may still be able to evaluate how impaired you are while driving.