When you receive a new medication from your medical provider, one of the things you should do is make sure you’re at home and safe before taking it. You don’t want to be behind the wheel when you take a new medication, because if you happen to have side effects, they could impact your ability to drive safely.
If you are driving when side effects make you tired, confused or otherwise unable to drive, then you could face a DUI charge for drugged driving if you’re stopped by the police. Even though you’re using a legal substance, the impairment that you face from it makes it illegal for you to be behind the wheel.
What can you do to prevent unexpected side effects from a new medication?
If you are starting a new medication, plan to stay home or get a ride wherever you need to go. It’s normal to feel the side effects from a new medication within a few hours, but some may develop over time as the medication stabilizes in the body over multiple doses.
While you’re uncertain of the side effects you’re experiencing, try to stay home or ride with someone else if you need to go to work, school or complete other errands. If you have side effects that seem to be persistent, talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe to continue driving in the future or not.
You should develop a defense against a DUI
DUIs aren’t always straightforward. If you appear impaired, a police officer could arrest you for a DUI — even if you’re only on your prescribed medication. Our website has more information on drugged driving and what to do if you face a DUI charge.