Accidentally driving while drugged? It can happen easily

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

You are driving along a familiar road, and the next thing you know you’re mixed up and heading the wrong way. Luckily, you get pulled over before you get into a wreck. Now, however, an officer is asking your questions about how you ended up in this predicament.

You suspect it may be your medication. A lot of drugs can cause cognitive impairments of one kind or another, particularly in older adults. Everything from migraine drugs like topiramate to proton pump inhibitors and laxatives have been known to cause problems with mental functioning.

Even if you’ve taken a medication before, changes in your dose, changes in your diet or the addition of another medication (even an over-the-counter drug) can cause problems. Medication can cause problems with:

  • Your memory
  • Your reaction times
  • Your ability to process information

Medication can also cause problems with your level of alertness — which is why many drugs warn people against driving or operating heavy machinery while they’re being used. Common culprits include things as benign as over-the-counter allergy medications and cough syrups.

Naturally, if you had realized you were impaired, you wouldn’t have been on the road. You’re a responsible person. In fact, the thought occurs to you that you should just tell the officer that you think your medication is giving you a problem.

That’s a bad idea. Admitting to the officer that you’re impaired due to your medication is admitting to a crime equivalent to drunk driving.

If you’ve been pulled over and arrested due to impaired driving that you suspect was medication-induced, hold your peace. It’s wiser to discuss the situation with your attorney later so that you are protecting your legal interests.