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Many people could be at risk of a prescription drug DUI

People might take several different prescriptions to control a medical condition. However, they may not realize that their medicine could result in a DUI.

Certain medicines have side effects, and while some are minor, others can be serious. The Federal Drug Administration says that some side effects impair a person’s driving.

What kind of prescriptions cause impairment?

Several different medications can have an adverse effect on drivers. Any substance containing codeine or opioids can impair people. The following substances also might affect someone’s driving ability:

  • Sleeping pills
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Allergy medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Antiepileptic medicines

These medications can cause people to experience blurry vision, and also might make people feel tired or dizzy. Sometimes, people may feel like fainting, or they could have trouble focusing on their surroundings. Some substances also slow down a person’s reactions.

What does the data say?

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a recent study found that many people take medications that can cause impairment. The study recorded the responses of 2,657 drivers. About half of them had used at least one impairing substance within the past month. However, almost one out of every five drivers had taken more than two of these medications. Additionally, half of the respondents had taken these medications and then driven within the next two hours.

The study also found that a doctor’s warning could affect people’s behavior. People did not drive immediately after taking their medicine if a doctor had told them that it could possibly cause impairment.

If a prescription greatly affects someone’s driving, law enforcement officials may charge this person with a DUI. However, some people may face more serious charges if they cannot demonstrate that they have a valid prescription for certain medications.