Can I Be Charged With a DWI if I’m Taking Prescription Medication?

Can I Be Charged With a DWI if I’m Taking Prescription Medication?

While DWIs are most commonly associated with drinking, you may not realize that taking medication can also warrant a DWI charge. However, you may think that having a prescription for your medication may help you evade charges. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. If you are prescribed pharmaceuticals, understanding how it will impact your ability to drive and the legality of the circumstances is vital. Keep reading to learn more and discover how a Bergen County, NJ DWI attorney can help you through these charges.

If I’m on Prescription Medication, Will It Warrant a DWI?

Any time you are under the influence of a substance, regardless of whether or not it is legal or illegal, you can face a DWI if it impacts your ability to drive. Even if you have a prescription from your doctor, this does not absolve you of a crime.

In New Jersey, a DWI is classified as a traffic offense as opposed to a criminal offense. However, you can still incur heavy consequences as a result. For a first offense, you will likely lose your driving privileges, spend at least twelve hours in jail, and face thousands in fines and fees.

How Can Medication Impact the Ability to Drive?

Unfortunately, there are a number of medications that can impact your ability to operate a vehicle. This is because many pharmaceuticals can have side effects that make it hard to focus and stay awake when driving. These medications include:

  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Antihistamines
  • Cold medicine
  • Pain relievers

These medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, can cause drowsiness, slowed reflexes, and blurry vision. It is important to note that side effects can vary in intensity based on a number of factors, including dosage, age, weight, and gender.

What Should I Do if I’m Facing a DWI?

Even though you have a prescription, the side effects of many medications can put you and other drivers on the road at risk of injury. As such, you must talk to your doctor about potential side effects and plan alternate travel methods if you are impacted by your prescription.

If you are facing a DWI for driving while under the influence of medication, it’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. In the event you are arrested for a DWI, you must comply with the officers. Resisting arrest can lead to additional criminal charges. You should also remain silent, as you may accidentally incriminate yourself when speaking with the police.

At the Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, we understand how confusing the laws surrounding DWIs can be, especially for those taking prescription medication. As such, we will do everything possible to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today to learn how we will fight for you.