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How legal drugs can cause you to get a DUI charge

Of course, you know that driving after consuming alcohol or an illicit drug is dangerous and illegal. However, did you know that even legal drugs may cause you to face DUI charges? It is absolutely true that you can be put under arrest and receive a conviction for driving under the influence of legal medications. 

Getting behind the wheel of your vehicle after taking certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs can land you behind the bars. Some of these lawful medications can be just as hazardous as alcohol. Legal drugs can also threaten the safety of yourself and others. In fact, 21 percent of all fatal crashes in 2015 involved drugged motorists. Here is some insight into how you can face criminal consequences for a legal-drug DUI. 


If you take antidepressant medications, you may not think twice about them. Taking your pills can become a daily routine that you think does not negatively affect you. However, certain antidepressants are sedatives that can result in impairments similar to drunkenness. 


Common antihistamine medications include the following:

  • Allegra
  • Benadryl
  • Claritin
  • Zyrtec

You may take this type of medicine for allergies. Unfortunately, some antihistamines can cause drowsiness, dizziness and blurry vision, which make it unsafe to operate a vehicle. 


You may assume nothing is wrong with taking a decongestant medication if you have a cold or allergies. However, certain drugs that provide nasal congestion relief can also make you dizzy, drowsy and anxious. 

Prescription opioids

If you take prescription pain relievers, you may be well aware of the impairing side effects. Common effects of taking opioids include drowsiness and euphoria. Beware of driving if you take any opioid drugs, including codeine, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.

It is possible for the police to pull you over when you are least expecting it. If a law enforcement officer arrests you for driving while impaired, make sure you look into your legal defense options.

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Leesburg, VA 20176

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