Can I Get a DWI for Driving While on Prescription Drugs? | Rockwall County, TX DWI Lawyer

Harrell & Paulson

Many assume that you can only be charged with a DWI if you drink and drive. However, this is not the case. Though you may never even consider driving while drunk, you may not take any medication you’re prescribed into consideration. Understanding how prescription drugs can impact your ability to operate a vehicle is vital to keeping your criminal record free. If you’re in legal trouble after driving a car, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how a Kaufman County, Texas DWI attorney can help.

Do Prescription Drugs Warrant a DWI?

Under Texas law, any driver impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol found to be operating a vehicle can face a DWI charge. However, it is a common misconception that only illegal substances can be convicted of a DWI.

Generally, when pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer will use signals such as slurred speech, eye contact, movements, and the ability to form a coherent thought to determine whether or not you are under the influence.

The police officer may ask if you are taking any medication. You should not answer the question. Many people make the mistake of lying to the police, which can land them additional charges. Similarly, you should not admit you are taking medication, as this is incriminating. Instead, remain silent.

What Drugs Could Impair a Driver?

Unfortunately, there are a number of prescriptions that could inhibit your ability to drive. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Antidepressants

  • Pain relievers

  • Antihistamines

  • Antianxiety medication

  • Sleeping pills

  • Muscle relaxants

Generally, these pills cause drowsiness and the inability to focus. Some may also cause blurry or double vision, making it dangerous to operate a vehicle. It’s also important to note that over-the-counter medication can also have side effects that affect your ability to drive.

When starting a new medication, it’s vital to discuss all possible side effects with your doctor. This helps you understand the possibilities of how your driving could be affected. You also should not drive until you learn how the medication could impact you, as you may discover it makes you drowsy or causes dizziness.

What Should I Do if I’m Arrested?

If you’re arrested for a DWI because you are driving while taking prescription medication, it’s essential to take the proper steps to avoid facing additional charges. Under no circumstances should you try to resist arrest, as this can land you with additional charges. Instead, comply with the officer. Similarly, you should avoid speaking with police officers until you have retained the help of an attorney.

When you’re in trouble, don’t wait to reach out. Harrell & Paulson is here to help. We have the experience necessary to help you navigate criminal charges. We’re dedicated to fighting to help you secure the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Reach out today to connect with one of our competent lawyers today.