If you take drugs other than alcohol, can you face charges of DUI or DWI? Possibly. Drugs and medications can have effects on the mind and body that you cannot always predict.
It is not always easy to determine whether you have taken enough of a substance to intoxicate yourself because there are no standardized benchmarks for substances the way there are for alcohol. Nevertheless, you can face arrest for DUI or DWI if authorities believe something in your system is negatively affecting your driving ability. AAA describes some of the types of substances that can impair your driving ability.
1. Over-the-counter medications
You may assume that because OTC medications are available to purchase without a prescription, they are safe to take. This is true as long as you follow the instructions on the package, but even when taken correctly, they can cause unwanted side effects. Before taking any medications, always read the label to see if there are any precautions against driving while on the medication.
2. Prescription medications
Legally, you can only take prescription medications with a doctor’s permission. These drugs are more potent, meaning that the effects can be stronger, and they also have the potential to cause addiction. Following your doctor’s instructions is important not only to prevent impaired driving but to avoid criminal drug charges for using the medication for something other than its intended purpose.
3. Illicit drugs
Illicit drugs are those that are either completely illegal to possess and use or controlled substances that you use in a way that is against the law. Illicit drugs typically do not come with instructions for use or a list of ingredients.
When you take illicit drugs, you do not always know what is in them or how they will affect you, making it dangerous to drive while they are in your system.