The family medicine cabinet is where we keep our prescriptions given to family members for a variety of ailments. A typical cabinet today can contain everything from commonly prescribed antidepressants to antihistamines to pills to help us sleep, diet remedies, and medications to counter anxiety and pain. Used as directed, the prescriptions can bring needed relief.
But even when used as directed by your doctor, some of those medicines can impair your ability to drive and might mean you will face arrest for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Denver police have more than once reported growing problems not only with drivers who abuse prescription drugs, but drivers who display signs of impairment though they have simply taken their medications as directed.
While most of us assume a DUI involves alcohol, more and more these days other drugs are involved, including marijuana and pharmaceuticals obtained from physicians. According to an NBC report written by a physician, a 2010 survey found that nearly 10 million Americans had driven while under the influence of medications or other drugs.
The doctor listed several types of medications that can cause impairment problems, including the following:
- Antidepressants: especially the older generation of these medications has sedating effects that can slow reflexes or disturb a person’s ability to concentrate on driving.
- Pain medications: especially those such as oxycodone, vicodin, codeine, morphine, etc.
- Diet aids: especially those containing stimulants.
- Anti-anxiety medications: drugs such as Xanax and Valium are prone to having sedating effects on consumers.
- Sleep aids: problems some people have with Ambien have been well-documented, though other types of sleep medications can also have a detrimental effect on a person’s ability to drive.
- Antiseizure medications: Ativan, Onfi, Klonopin and others can also cause sedation which slows reflexes.
- Allergy drugs: certain antihistamines and decongestants can have impairing side effects.
A Denver attorney experienced in DUI defense can work with you to minimize possible penalties in court and DMV hearings.