By Pendergast Law on January 13, 2011
Did you know that medications – from prescription drugs to herbal supplements to over-the-counter cold medicines – are fast becoming the “new DUI.” It’s true. That’s why it is crucial that you understand how the medicines you take could potential impair your ability to drive.
The reality is that you can be charged with driving under the influence, lose your license, or, even worse, seriously injure yourself or others for this new medicine-cause DUI. Some of the most common, but least known, medications that are known to impair driving include:
Diabetes medications are designed to lower your sugar levels, but they can also give you side effects like tremors, confusion and headaches – all of which can impair your ability to drive. While the warning labels do say not to drink alcoholic beverages while taking these medications, they often don’t mention anything about driving.
Common cold medications such as Nyquil, Tylenol and most generic cold and cough suppressants can slow down your brain response time and make you drowsy. In fact, a recent report showed that when a woman takes two of these types of cold remedies, it is equivalent to drinking 2-3 glasses of wine.
Anti-Depressant & Anti-Anxiety Medications
Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax can cause muscle weakness, impact your coordination and make your response time slower. It’s important to heed the warning labels and avoid driving while on these medications until your doctor can determine the impact they are having.
Many antihistamine allergy medications can make you drowsy. If you are going to drive, look for products that assure they are using a non-drowsy formula. If it doesn’t say “Non-Drowsy” it will probably impair your ability to drive.
Here’s a Quick Medicine DUI Prevention List
There are a number of ways you can avoid medicine driving impairment:
1. Make your pharmacist aware of all the medications you are taking, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
2. Check the prescription labels and side effects on all drugs before you take them.
3. The first time you take any medication, don’t drive. Until you know how you will react to a drug, avoid getting in your car.
Please be alert to the hidden dangers of driving while taking many common medications. And if you or a loved one is seriously injured in an accident caused by DUI, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and get compensation for your injuries. If you think you have a claim contact our Seattle personal injury attorneys for a free consultation. You obtain the best possible legal services at the time of your injury without having to pay money out of your pocket for legal services. No recovery means no attorney fee.