When you think of DWI charges in McAllen, Texas, the first things that come to mind are probably offenses involving driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. And while these conditions might cause the majority of DWI cases, it is possible to be charged with a DWI in Texas even while you are taking legal medications prescribed by a doctor!
According to FindLaw, you can be arrested for “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) while taking legal drugs including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. You can face the same consequences for taking legal medications as you can for an offenses relating to alcohol or illegal drugs. Legal grounds for a DWI really depend on whether your ability to drive is impaired or not.
FindLaw defines the conditions for being charged with a DWI as driving a vehicle on a public roadway (or being in actual physical control of the vehicle as defined by state laws); and at the time of driving, being under the influence of alcohol or any legal or controlled substances. “Under the influence,” called “driving while intoxicated” in Texas, means the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle was affected to an appreciable degree by an alcoholic beverage, a drug (legal or illegal), or a combination of the two.
So by the very definition of DWI, the influence of legal drugs can impair your driving.
Which Medications Cause Driver Impairment?
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications will have an effect on your coordination, motor skills, and more – even when you take the prescribed dosage. Some common side effects of prescription drugs that can impact your ability to drive include:
- Blurred vision
- Slowed movement
- Inability to focus or pay attention
Because medications affect different people differently, and different dosages might have different effects, it’s difficult to define a list of medications that can cause driver impairment. Some medications might have more severe side effects when combined with alcohol, illegal drugs, or other legal medications. However, the National Institute on Drug Abuse gives a specific warning regarding medications such as benzodiazepines and opioids, which can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and impair cognitive functioning (thinking and judgment). All of these effects can lead to vehicle crashes.
When taking medications, always check the labels for possible side effects and ask your doctor if it’s safe to drive while taking the medication. In addition, before getting behind the wheel, monitor your reactions to the medications while you’re in a safe environment to see what side effects you experience. Keep in mind that even if you don’t experience all the possible side effects of a medication, if there’s a warning about driving impairment, avoid getting behind the wheel for your sake and the safety of others on the road!
What To Do If You’re Charged with a DWI
If you’re charged with a DWI in McAllen, Texas, attorney Juan Tijerina can help! With over 12 years of legal experience providing outstanding representation to clients in federal, state and county courts, Juan Tijerina has a deep understanding of the Federal criminal justice system, the Texas criminal justice system, and the defenses that can be used for charges such as DWI. Call (956) 261-5609 or contact us online today!
4016 N. 22nd Street
McAllen, Texas 78504
Phone: (956) 261-5609
Phone: (512) 900-1126
FAX (877) 395-1707