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Yes, prescription medications can and do lead to DUIs

You’re probably familiar with taking medications every once in a while. Whether you have a bad cold or have developed an infection, taking medications may be the one way you can start to feel better.

Unfortunately, medications can have side effects that greatly impact how your body functions. Some common side effects of medications may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion

Not every prescription medication is the same, so the side effects that you have to deal with will vary. However, you should know that these side effects could impact your ability to drive safely.

Is it acceptable to drive while taking prescription medications?

Normally, a prescription medication will come with literature and warnings that let you know if it has the potential to cause dizziness, drowsiness, confusion or other symptoms that would impair your ability to drive safely. Some prescriptions will state “do not drive on this medication,” or “wait to see the side effects before driving.” Some sleeping medications have instructions such as, “sleep at least eight hours before driving or operating machinery.”

It’s important to follow the instructions that come with a prescription medication. Even if it doesn’t say to wait before you drive, it’s a good idea to wait at least 24 hours after taking a new prescription to see how it affects you. You may find that you feel fine and are able to drive safely, or you could discover that the medication makes you too nauseated or dizzy to drive, for example.

Whether a drug is legal or not is not the question

Whether a drug is legal or not, it could still cause impairments. Just because a medication is given to you by a pharmacist and medical provider doesn’t mean it’s safe. It is important for you to see how it affects you and to use good judgment when deciding if you want to drive. If you drive dangerously as a result of taking a medication, you could still face a DUI and the penalties that come with it. It’s worth taking the time to see how you’ll be affected and to avoid driving until you’re sure you can do so safely.