Bringing order to chaos since 1996

Impairing prescription drugs can lead to DUIs

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | DUI

In Georgia, you can face charges for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a controlled substance. However, this rule doesn’t refer to just alcoholic drinks and illegal substances. Even prescription medicines that have impairing side effects can give officers a reason to arrest you for DUI.

State law on prescription drug-induced impairment

According to Georgia law, driving while under the influence of any drug – to the extent that it’s less safe for the person to drive – is illegal. The definition is broad enough that it can apply to both illegal drugs and prescription medications for as long as they have an effect that can negatively impact a person’s ability to drive.

Medications such as painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs, sleep aids, and even some over-the-counter medicines can affect your driving ability.

Communicate with your doctor

Have an open dialogue with your healthcare provider about the side effects of your prescriptions. If you’re unsure about the impact a medication might have on your driving, ask your doctor for advice. They can advise you on whether it’s safe to drive or if you should find alternative transportation.

Legal consequences

If you’re pulled over and an officer suspects you’re impaired due to prescription medication, you may be subjected to field sobriety tests or asked to submit to a blood test. Refusing the blood test can lead to an automatic license suspension under Georgia’s implied consent law.

A DUI conviction can result in fines, jail time, license suspension, and other penalties.

Staying informed about how prescription medications affect your driving is key to avoiding DUI charges in Georgia. Always follow your doctor’s advice and the instructions on your medication labels to ensure you’re driving safely and legally.

However, if you face charges for driving while impaired by a prescription medication, don’t underestimate what a conviction would lead to. A legal professional may be able to provide you with guidance on your case and protect your rights in court.

From offices in Augusta-Richmond County we serve clients in neighboring communities including Grovetown, Thomson, Waynesboro, Harlem, Lincolnton, and Wrens. Beyond Augusta we handle cases in Columbia County, Burke County, McDuffie County, Lincoln County and Wilkes County. We also proud to represent military families and veterans from Fort Gordon, Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, Fort Benning, Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem.