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Can I Get a DWI for Driving While on Prescription Medication? | Rockland County, NY DWI Lawyer

If you’ve visited your doctor for surgery or illness, they may have prescribed medication to help you feel better. However, many of these medicines have strong side effects that can impact your day-to-day life. When you take a prescription drug, ensuring you understand how it can affect your driving is crucial, as you may face a DWI. If you’re charged with driving while taking a prescription medication, keep reading to learn how a Spring Valley DWI defense attorney can help represent you during your legal battle.

Can Prescription Medication Warrant a DWI?

In New York, any time someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and operates a vehicle can warrant a DWI charge. This is because these substances can impact your ability to drive, making you a danger to yourself and others. However, many who take prescription medication aren’t aware of how the drug will impact them and drive with no malicious intent. Regardless, you can still face the same penalties as those who drink and drive.

Many assume a prescription will absolve them of charges, as they have legally obtained the medication. This is not true, as any drug can cause impairment, which is still a crime.

What Medication Can Impact My Ability to Drive?

There are many medications that can impair a driver and make it harder for them to drive. Some medications that can have side effects making it challenging to drive include the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Sleeping pills
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Motion sickness medications

Generally, these medications can cause drowsiness, making it challenging to stay awake behind the wheel. Some medications can also cause slowed reflexes, which reduces a driver’s ability to avoid hazards. Even though many modern antihistamines no longer cause drowsiness, they can affect your vision, which makes driving dangerous.

If prescribed a medication, it’s vital to discuss all possible side effects with your healthcare provider to ensure you understand what to expect.

What Should I Do if I’m Arrested?

If pulled over because an officer believes you may be under the influence, you should remain polite but refrain from offering information. During a traffic stop, you are only required to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance to the officer. Though you may immediately want to defend yourself and inform the officer that you have a prescription, this can only serve to further incriminate you.

Should an officer arrest you, you should use your right to remain silent and request a lawyer. Do not speak with the police until you have a lawyer to guide you.

If you’re facing DWI charges because you drove while taking prescription medication, you need an experienced lawyer in your corner. The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway is ready to help. Reach out today to connect with a seasoned attorney and learn how we can help you.

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