Drugged Driving: How Rx Drugs Can Lead to a Texas DWI

It is true that most adults can easily enjoy a single 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. glass of wine, or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor and still be able to safely and legally operate a motor vehicle. This is because for most adults, the human body can process the amount of liquor in a standard drink and he or she will still have a blood alcohol concentration below the legal limit of .08. However, if an adult is on a prescription medication that does not mix well with alcohol, he or she may not be able to safely consume any amount of alcohol and drive, even if he or she has a BAC well below the legal limit. This is because, unlike alcohol, there is no “legal limit” when it comes to drugs of any kind.

Many Texans are unaware that the same medications that they rely on to keep them feeling well, could very well land them in hot water with the law. It is a very dangerous notion to rely on the assumption that if you are simply “following doctor’s orders” that will be okay. This is simply not true. If you are pulled over and arrested for “drugged driving”, being able to prove that you were taking all of your medications exactly as prescribed by your physician, is not a valid defense in Texas. Instead you can and most likely will be charged with DWI.

If you are taking any prescription or even over the counter medications, you need to be aware that the law does not care, so to speak, if you were doing so properly or if you were abusing the drug. Plain and simple, drugged driving is against the law. To avoid a possible arrest for DWI, remember the following before taking any medication(s) and driving:

  • Never drive until you know how a particular medication will affect you. Whenever you receive a new medication, whether over the counter or prescription, it is important to learn how the medication will affect you. While a list of possible side effects and warnings usually accompanies all medications, different medications can affect different people quite differently. If you experience any side effects that would impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, do not drive while taking this medication. You may also want to speak with your physician or pharmacist about prescribing a different medication.
  • Medications and alcohol do not mix well. While you may be able to take a particular medication without experiencing any side effects that would interfere with your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, this could change if you mix that same medication with alcohol. Since alcohol is itself a drug, it should not be mixed with any medication(s) without consulting first with your pharmacist and/or physician.
  • Before combining medications consult with your physician and/or pharmacist. Just like alcohol, combining a prescription drug with another prescription drug or over-the-counter drug can be a big mistake. Again, the best rule of thumb is to always consult with a physician and/or pharmacist before mixing medications and/or changing your medication routine.

If you have been arrested and charged with drugged driving, the first thing you need to do is to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Only a seasoned DWI Defense Attorney will be able to thoroughly review your case and determine if you have any defenses to the charges against you. As a former prosecutor, Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit understands exactly what needs to be done to fight a DWI and win. To determine how Mr. Pettit can help you, call The Law Office of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

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