All motorists know that driving under the influence (DUI) is a dangerous activity, but many people just assume that the intoxication referred to here is that of alcohol. However, there are also many useful medicines that can impair your driving. Here are some of the ways in which useful drugs can impair your driving:
Driving is inherently dangerous, and you need to be absolutely alert to manage the associated dangers. This is why you are advised to get a good night's sleep the night before a road trip. Driving while sleepy can even make you lose control of the car and drift into nearby lanes, which is very dangerous. Unfortunately, it is not just lack of sleep that can make you drowsy; there are drugs that can leave you with the same feeling. Examples include the narcotics that are commonly used as pain relievers and the antihistamines used in allergy management.
Dizziness, which is described as the feeling of losing balance or spinning around, is a common side effect of most medicines. For example, all drugs used to treat high blood pressure can make you dizzy. Unfortunately, it is extremely dangerous to be feeling dizzy while behind the wheel. The feeling interferes with your sense of direction or balance, and can easily make you crash into other road users or objects.
Although car companies are falling all over themselves trying to design the perfect autonomous car, the industry hasn't progressed to the point where you can just get into the car and let it drive you to your destination. This means you still need your eyes to drive, and anything that interferes with your vision can make you crash into road obstacles because you won't be able to see them. It's unfortunate that some useful drugs, such as Accutane (for treating allergy) can cause temporary blurred vision.
Imagine fainting while driving on a busy highway; in fact, fainting while driving can be disastrous for you even if you are the only motorist on the road. Unfortunately, some drugs have been linked to increased incidents of fainting. Examples include blood pressure medications and antidepressants.
Note that if your driving is impaired, you will be charged with DUI irrespective of the cause of the impairment. That's why it's important to understand all the side effects of all the drugs you are taking if you plan on driving. Consult a criminal defense attorney to help with your defense in case you mistakenly drove while intoxicated with a legal drug.