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Is there a good defense to driving while impaired by medications?

When you’re not feeling well or when you are dealing with a medical condition, you may have to take medications that you’re prescribed to keep your health stable. For the most part, medications have reasonable, expected side effects that you can manage and understand within a few hours of taking the drugs. Unfortunately, there are times when medications have an unexpected impact on your ability to drive safely.

If you’re driving and you suddenly develop dizziness, nausea, anxiety or other side effects, they can make you act in unusual ways. Drowsiness and dizziness may make you appear to be impaired similarly to how you’d be if you had a significant amount to drink.

If you’re stopped by a police officer, they may ask you to take a Breathalyzer test and to perform field sobriety tests. If they feel that you aren’t capable of driving and appear to be impaired, then you could be accused of a DUI.                                     

How can you defend yourself against a DUI for medications?

There are a few good defenses that you can use if you are accused of a DUI but were taking medications at the time. For instance, if you’ve taken those same drugs for a long time but never had side effects like this, your attorney may help you argue that you didn’t have any idea that you would have those side effects. Similarly, if you were taking a new medication that was not supposed to have any unusual side effects, you could show that the drug did not have any side effect warnings for drowsiness or dizziness that may have affected your ability to drive safely.

Your attorney will work hard to reduce any sentence that you may be charged with. Even if the reduction takes you down from a drugged driving DUI to reckless driving or another traffic infraction, you may save hundreds or thousands of dollars and be able to keep a criminal charge off your record. The goal is to help you walk away with as few penalties as possible, so you can move forward in your life and put this situation behind you for good.



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