According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription drugs can make driving a car unsafe – just like driving after drinking alcohol.” Very similar to drunk driving, drugged driving places the driver, their passengers, and others on the road at risk of a crash, sometimes a deadly crash.
Why is drugged driving dangerous? Because, certain drugs can and do affect the brain. For example, some drugs cause dizziness, confusion, slowed reaction time, and nausea. Some drugs can impair judgement, while others impair one’s ability to judge time and distance. Others slow people’s reaction time.
When a driver is on methamphetamine or cocaine, it can cause them to drive recklessly. On the other hand, certain types of sedatives can cause one to feel drowsy and dizzy. Thus, many types of drugs (both legal and illicit) can impair one’s ability to drive safely.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “some states have zero-tolerance laws for drugged driving. This means a person can face charges for driving under the influence (DUI) if there is any amount of drug in the blood or urine.”
Prescription Drug DWI
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warns, “Some medications and driving don’t mix.” The FDA goes on to say that “some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause reactions that make it unsafe to drive.” So, which drugs require caution when driving? According to the FDA, these include:
- Pain relievers, such as Oxycodone
- Sleeping pills and tranquilizers
- Some types of antidepressants
- Anxiety medications
- Products that contain codeine
- Certain cold and allergy formulas
- Stimulants, such as diet pills, caffeine, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine
Please be aware that you can be arrested, charged and convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if you drive under the influence of prescription medication and it impairs your ability to drive safely. The penalties for a prescription drug DWI are the same as an alcohol-related DWI – so that’s something to keep in mind.
Facing DWI charges in Plano or Dallas? Contact our firm today!