You know your limits. You never have more than a beer or two with dinner when you stop for a drink with your friends after work. If you’re out with family, and you’re driving home, you carefully limit yourself to just a single glass of wine with dinner or a solitary cocktail that’s fairly weak.
But you could still end up with a drunk driving charge. All it takes is the wrong dose of medication mixed with an alcoholic drink to leave you too impaired to safely drive. Even if you’d never purposefully mix medication and alcohol in a dangerous way, you may not realize you’re at risk.
Here are the most common medications that people unthinkingly mix with alcohol, without knowing that they could be putting themselves and others in danger:
- Painkillers of any kind, including those that you may be able to obtain over the counter or with a doctor’s prescription
- Over-the-counter cold medication, including Mucinex and Nyquil
- Diabetes drugs, including metformin
- Anti-anxiety medication, which includes drugs like Xanax, Klonopin and Valium
- Coumadin and other blood thinners
- Sleep aids, including Ambien (which is already notorious for causing people to feel hungover, drunk or disoriented even the next day)
- Medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including Ritalin
- Antibiotics, including Bactrim and sulfa drugs
- Blood pressure medications, including nitrates
- Erectile dysfunction drugs, like Viagra and Cialis
In some cases, like with painkillers, alcohol may intensify their effect. That can lead to euphoria or a loss of motor control that makes it harder to operate a vehicle correctly. In other cases, you can experience dangerous side effects while behind the wheel. Diabetics, for example, may experience low blood sugar that makes them appear to be intoxicated.
If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, find out how a DUI attorney can help you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.