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Can I Get a DWI if I Was Prescribed a Drug?

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Uncategorized

Texas DWI Defense AttorneyYes, you can be charged with and convicted of Driving While Intoxicated even if you were under the influence of a medication you were prescribed. Texas’s DWI statute is not specific to just alcohol. Although you cannot be charged with possession of your own prescription medication, you can be charged for driving after taking a medication known to cause intoxication. This may seem counterintuitive. However, many prescription medications can impair a person's ability to drive safely. If you were pulled over after taking a prescription medication, it is likely a police officer noticed the effect the medication had on your driving ability. An experienced Houston, TX, DWI attorney can help defend you and in many cases, prevent you from facing jail time. 

Common Prescription Medications That Can Lead to a DWI Charge

Many common prescription medications, including pain medications, certain anxiety medications, and a number of pills that are prescribed to help people sleep, can make driving dangerous. You may be convicted of a DWI for driving under the influence of: 

  • Narcotic pain medication - Pain medications that include opiates, such as Tramadol, Oxycodone, and Vicodin, can impair a person’s driving ability. They may make you feel sleepy or reduce your alertness. 

  • Anxiety medications - Benzodiazepines, like Xanax and Klonopin, can have a noticeable impact on your memory function and ability to react appropriately to traffic around you. High doses of other anxiety medications, like Gabapentin or Klonodine, can also cause impairment. Make sure you know how your anxiety medication affects you before you try to drive after taking it. 

  • Anesthesia - If you were given anesthetics for a medical or dental procedure, you were likely told that you needed to have someone drive you home. Although most medical facilities are very good about making sure the patient does not try to drive themselves, trying to drive yourself anywhere the same day you had the procedure can be risky. 

  • Sleeping pills - Medications used to treat insomnia or other sleep disturbances, such as Trazadone, can reduce your level of awareness or even cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel. Stronger sleeping pills, like Ambien, have even been known to cause people to become alert behind the wheel without remembering having started to drive. 

If you have been charged with a DWI after using a prescription medication, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Contact a Houston, TX, DWI Attorney

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. can protect your rights if you are facing a DWI charge after using a medication you were prescribed. Our dedicated Houston, TX, DWI lawyers will do all we can to give you the best defense possible. Contact us at 713-229-8333 for a free consultation.

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