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Can I Take My Prescription Medication and Drive?

Prescription with medication coming out of a prescription bottle

When thinking about an OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) offense, most assume it is solely connected to alcohol consumption and driving. However, law enforcement can issue an OVI connected to not only drugs such as marijuana but prescription drugs as well.

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Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) can be considered as serious of a charge as a “typical” OVI. This is not just for illegal substances but prescribed, legal ones as well. This means even if a prescription is given to you by a doctor, you could still be charged with a DUI.

That’s because some medications may incapacitate you the way alcohol and other drugs can. It is common for prescription medications to come with a warning label saying something similar to, “May make you drowsy or dizzy. Use care when operating a vehicle, vessel, or other machines.” If a medication comes with this warning label, and you choose to drive, it could lead to severe consequences.

Punishments for Driving While on Prescription Medication

Someone who is found guilty of driving under the influence of a prescription medication can expect to face similar consequences as if they were driving drunk, including fines and jail time.

Additionally, a driver could have their license suspended by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This is separate from the aforementioned criminal charges.

How to Avoid a DUID

The best method to avoid a DUID offense is to see how you react to new medication in a controlled setting. When you are at a location where you won’t be driving for several hours (such as at home), take your medication and see how you feel. If you feel dizzy or drowsy after taking your medication, then you know it would not be safe for you to drive after taking it. Everybody has a different reaction to medications, so while you may have one reaction to a medication, someone else may have a different reaction. That’s why it’s critical to see how a medication affects you before you try to drive as well.

What to do If You are Facing a DUID

A DUID is not as uncommon as you might think. Even after testing how you react to a medication in a controlled environment, law enforcement may deem you incapable of driving because of it. That’s why you need an experienced attorney like one from L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC representing you if you’re facing a charge like this.

We have seen all types of operating-while-under-the-influence charges and we’re ready to help you during your time of need. We are available 24/7 to help you — contact us online or by phone: (937) 685-7006.