Can I Be Charged With a DWI for Driving While Taking Prescription Medication?

After surgery or illness, you likely have at least one medication you must take in order to prevent infections or relieve pain. However, you may not realize how it affects you before getting behind the wheel. You may be pulled over and charged with a DWI despite having a legal prescription. If you take prescription medication, it’s imperative to understand the legality of the situation. Keep reading to learn more and discover how a McAllen, Texas DWI lawyer can help represent you in a legal battle.

Can I Get Charged With DWI for Prescription Medication?

Texas law dictates that anyone driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be charged with a crime. However, this does not only apply to controlled substances. Any prescription or over-the-counter medication can also constitute a criminal charge if it impacts your driving ability.

Though you may think having a prescription will absolve you of any crime, this is not the case. Though you can still drive while taking medication, if it impairs your ability by making you drowsy, dizzy, or impacting your vision, it can warrant a charge. Understanding how the medication affects you before you operate a vehicle is essential.

What Medications Can Impact the Ability to Drive?

There are a variety of medications with side effects that could impair you. However, there are different factors, such as the dosage and your tolerance to the drug. Some medicines with side effects that could affect your driving include the following:

  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication
  • CBD products
  • Antihistamines

Many of these medications make a driver extremely tired, which can be dangerous if they fall asleep behind the wheel. Similarly, some can impact your reflexes, which slows down your reaction time. This makes it more challenging to stay alert and respond quickly to situational hazards. Also, many antihistamines do not cause drowsiness anymore, but they can dry out your eyes which impacts your vision.

It’s also crucial to note that over-the-counter medication can impair you and constitute a criminal charge.

What Should I Do if I’m Arrested?

If you’re arrested and charged with a DWI while operating a vehicle on prescription medication, ensuring you contact an attorney as soon as possible is crucial. Despite legally obtaining your pills, this is not a valid defense against the charge.

When arrested on a DWI charge in Texas, ensuring you take the correct steps is vital. Do not resist arrest or attempt to flee, as this can only escalate the situation and hurt your chances of evading charges. You should also invoke the right to remain silent, as this can prevent you from accidentally incriminating yourself. Instead, call a lawyer as soon as possible to provide assistance and guidance on how to proceed.

Reach out to the Law Offices of Angel Davila today to connect with a competent attorney. We can help assess your case with a free consultation to determine how we can assist.