Did you know that you could be accused of operating a vehicle under the influence if you’re impaired due to prescription medications? Many people don’t know how seriously these drugs can affect them, but if they drive dangerously or appear impaired, then they could end up facing charges.

While driving under the influence of a drug does differ from driving under the influence of alcohol, you still need to defend yourself. Not knowing how a drug was going to affect you may not be a good defense, depending on the medication’s label and known side effects.

How can you avoid an OUI while taking a prescription medication?

The first thing to do is to make sure you know how your medications affect you. For example, if you take a prescription allergy medication that makes you drowsy, you should know not to drive while those side effects are happening. Similarly, if you’re taking a new medication, you should avoid driving until you know how it affects you.

A good alternative to driving while you’re taking a prescription is using a rideshare service. Though it might be a little bit less convenient, it is a good way to reduce (or eliminate) the likelihood of getting into a crash or being stopped for driving recklessly.

If you’re concerned about your medications making it dangerous for you to drive, then speak with your medical provider. Certain medications may affect people with fewer side effects, helping you drive more safely despite taking a medication for your health. If you do end up facing an OUI, you may want to speak with your attorney about options to fight it.