Law Office of Michael L. Fell
900 Roosevelt Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 585-9055

DUIs Are Not Just for Alcohol: Learn How Various Drugs Can Impair Your Driving

When most people think of DUI charges, they think of a person who has had too much to drink and then gets behind the wheel. While this would likely count as a DUI too, the truth is that there are other types of DUI – most notably driving under the influence of drugs. In fact, some drugs you would not think could result in these charges can indeed lead to charges. Keep reading to learn more and then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 if you are in need of a free legal consultation.

Taking Antihistamines Can Result in DUI of Drugs

Allergy medications, also known as antihistamines, are one of the most common examples of a legal drug that can impair a driver’s ability to drive safely. These medications are prescribed for any number of things including hay fever, hives, and bee stings. They can cause temporary drowsiness, make it difficult for you to focus, and, in extreme cases, can cause you to fall asleep while driving.

Taking Prescription Painkillers

Unless you have a particular sensitivity, it is not likely that an over the counter painkiller, such as Tylenol or aspirin, is going to cause drowsiness. However, if your doctor prescribes a narcotic such as Demerol, codeine, or fentanyl, there could be numerous side effects that affect a person’s ability to drive. This includes drowsiness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. Some painkillers can also affect a person’s ability to make decisions.

Taking Decongestants

Once again, if you are taking an over the counter decongestant, it is not likely to be one that causes drowsiness. However, if you take higher than the recommended dosage, it could. If you are taking a prescription decongestant, then it could cause drowsiness or dizziness. Be sure to ask your doctor before driving, and take it first when you do not have to drive so you can test how it affects you personally.

Taking Antidepressants

Due to the fact that antidepressants affect various chemicals in the brain, they can affect people differently. This is why it is hard to predict how introducing a new antidepressant could affect your ability to drive. To combat this, avoid driving until you can be sure how the medication will affect you. Drowsiness is a potential side effect of many antidepressants, as well as insomnia, dizziness, and blurred vision.

Talk to an Attorney if You Are Arrested for a DUI of Drugs

If you take a drug and do not realize that it is going to affect your ability to drive, it is important that you do not simply plead guilty to any charges you face. Instead, talk to a criminal defense attorney such as Law Office of Michael L. Fell to find out what your options are. We offer a free legal consultation to help you get started.