You’d never think about getting behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. You don’t do any kind of illegal drugs, either, so that’s never been a problem. So, how could you end up with a DUI?
Pretty easily, actually, if you’re on any kind of over-the-counter (OTC) medication or prescription drug that impairs your judgment or interferes with your motor skills. Everything from pain medication to ordinary cold tablets can potentially cause a problem. Given that Americans go through a whopping 17.6 prescriptions per person every year, it pays to be cautious.
With that in mind, here are some steps you should take when you start a new medication:
- Read the warning labels. If a drug has warning labels that advise against driving or operating heavy machinery until you know your reaction, take them seriously. There’s no harm in asking for a ride or taking an Uber for a few days.
- Do not mix prescription drugs with OTC medications. Sometimes, two drugs will combine to create a mind-altering effect. Get a physician or pharmacist’s advice before you add any new meds to your regular routine.
- Don’t discuss your medications with the police. You may realize what caused the problem the moment the officer pulls you over, but that doesn’t mean you should admit to it. Telling a police officer that you are on a medication that is affecting your ability to drive safely is akin to admitting to DUI charges.
If you’re charged with a DUI because of a medication’s side-effects, invoke your right to remain silent and get experienced legal assistance right away. A Florida conviction can have serious consequences on your future.