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Can you get a DUI on prescription medication?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2019 | OVI Charges

When many people think of DUI, they think of someone operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. However, you can get a DUI as long as you operate a vehicle under any substance that can alter your behavior. That can certainly include prescription drugs. 

According to Ohio law, a person can get a DUI if he or she is under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse. The law typically applies to illegal substances, such as cocaine, amphetamine and heroin, but prescription drugs fall into that category, too. That means even if a person is under the influence of Valium, Vicodin or Percocet, he or she can face DUI charges for an accident. All of these substances appear on urine tests, so it is best to not get behind the wheel if you feel a prescription may have altered your thinking. 

Why can prescription drugs cause DUI?

When you receive a new prescription, your doctor should go over all the potential side effects with you in detail first. For many prescriptions, your doctor will tell you not to operate heavy machinery shortly after taking it. That certainly applies to a vehicle. Other common side effects you find with prescription medication include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Slowed movement
  • Blurry vision
  • Inability to pay attention
  • Chronic fainting

You may worsen your symptoms if you consume alcohol along with your medication. This combination could result in delayed responses, making you a danger on the road to yourself and others.

What should you do?

You should know how a certain medication affects you before driving after taking it. It may not result in any complications, or it may make you feel drowsy or dizzy. If you fall into the latter category, then you should find someone to drive you around during these times. You also need to avoid taking too much because that will hurt your DUI case. 



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