Americans are taught at an early age that drinking alcohol and then choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle is both dangerous and illegal. But what many Americans are not taught is that you can sometimes face criminal charges for driving under the influence if you drive with certain, legal medications in your system.
So-called “drugged driving” is much more difficult to prevent than drunk driving. When a person consumes alcohol, it is hard to forget that drinking too much and then choosing to drive is dangerous and illegal. However, drugged driving can occur with certain prescriptions, dosages and under certain circumstances. As a result, it is difficult even for those who are well informed about their prescriptions to guard against drugged driving.
Obviously, it is unwise to take a sleeping pill or narcotic pain killer and to subsequently drive. But what about common cough medicine? A young woman from West Bend was recently pulled over and charged with driving under the influence after ingesting enough cough medicine to allegedly impair her ability to drive.
Perhaps more than anything, this threshold is key to preventing someone from being accused of drugged driving. If any medication you take impairs your ability to drive in any significant way, it is best to avoid getting behind the wheel.
Drugged driving carries consequences just as severe as drunk driving. It is important to be smart about the medications you take, but people sometimes make mistakes. In the event that you find yourself facing drugged driving charges, you may wish to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
Source: Caledonia Patch, “Woman Accused Of Drunk Driving … On Cold Medicine,” Denise Lockwood, Oct. 19, 2012