Thinking of impaired driving might bring up thoughts of a driver who’s had too many drinks. While that’s a common source of impairment, there’s also the possibility of other substances causing the problem.
Illegal and prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications have side effects that impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. It’s possible to face criminal charges for any case that involves impairment from any substance.
What types of issues stem from drugs and medications?
It’s possible to take some medications without having an impact on your ability to drive. These will come with warning labels that state the medication shouldn’t be used before operating heavy machinery. It may also list side effects like sleepiness or dizziness. Avoiding these if you have to drive is a good idea. Allergy medication, some pain relievers, antidepressants and sleeping pills can all affect your ability to drive.
Many illegal drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine, all have side effects that can impair a driver. These include things like disorientation, impulsivity, hallucinations, and delusion. In some cases, the driver may have an altered perception, including changes in depth and distance perception. They may have a reduced ability to react to situations they encounter.
Anyone facing charges for driving under the influence of any substance should ensure they learn about their legal options. Working with an attorney who’s familiar with these cases can help you learn what options you have. Some of them might be time-sensitive, so be sure that you explore these quickly.