When you think about a DWI charge, you may assume this is limited to those who consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel. However, it’s necessary to understand that this extends to those who take drugs before driving. Unfortunately, many assume that only illegal drugs can warrant a DWI. In reality, if you take prescription drugs before driving, an officer can charge you with this offense. As such, if you are on medication, the following blog can help you learn what you must know about these matters to protect yourself. Additionally, if you are in legal trouble because of a medication, you’ll learn why you must with Houston DWI lawyers who can help represent you.

Can I Get a DWI if I Take Prescription Medication?

It’s important to understand that taking a prescription medication does not mean that you are not allowed to drive. However, if the prescription is not legal, or if it is but you cannot safely operate the vehicle, you can be charged. Unfortunately, if you have a valid prescription from a medical professional, this will not absolve you of the crime.

Driving under the influence in Texas is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense. As such, you can face jail time, hefty fines, and a license suspension.

How Can Prescription Drugs Impact the Ability to Drive?

In many instances, many people are unaware of the impacts of taking drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can impact them. There are many side effects associated with the following medication:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antifungal medication
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Cold relievers
  • Diuretics
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Pain-relievers

In many instances, these medications seem innocuous since they are commonly prescribed and help alleviate ailments and illness. However, they can have intense side effects that impact the patient’s ability to operate machinery. These side effects include blurry vision, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and slowed reflexes.

Additionally, it’s important to note that the impact of medication will vary from person to person based on their dosage and tolerance. As such, you should speak with your provider or pharmacist about the side effects and refrain from driving until you understand how the medication affects you.

Can an Attorney Help Me Fight These Charges?

When you are charged with a DWI in Texas because the officer believes you are under the influence, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney. Though this seems like a minor or petty offense, a DWI on your record can severely impact the rest of your life.

When you take a prescription medication, there is no accurate way for an officer to determine if you are unable to drive. While a urine sample can show there is medication in your system, there is no legal limit for medication, so the officer must rely on a field sobriety test, which often yields false results, as officers often administer the test incorrectly or interpret false results.

As such, if you have been charged with a DWI because you were taking prescription medication, obtaining legal representation is critical. At the Sparks Law Firm, we understand how upsetting it can be to face charges for something you likely didn’t know was considered a crime. If this reflects your circumstances, connect with us today to learn how we can help guide you through this overwhelming process.