Driving While Medicated Is A DWI Cause, Too

Posted on: 27 July 2017

Many drivers are surprised to find themselves being charged with a DUI after they have taken cold medicine. But driving under the influence includes a much wider range of drugs than you might think; anything that can impair your driving can get you convicted of a DWI.

What a Lawyer Is Going to Do

That's not to say that you can't get out of getting convicted for a DWI after taking cold medicine. Your best chance is to hire a DWI defense attorney. If you didn't admit to the officer that you were on some kind of medication, then there is still work for the courts to do to prove that you were intoxicated.

With blood alcohol testing, there is an easy standard to look at. At over .08% blood alcohol, you are legally intoxicated. The police may have had you take a breathalyzer test or even a drug test. But they aren't exactly looking for cold medicine with these tests. And there is no set standard of how much cold medicine you can take and get behind the wheel. No, in cases like this, what will often happen is the court will rely on circumstantial evidence.

What Happened on the Road?

Now is the time to review with your lawyer what happened on the road, and why the court thinks you were intoxicated. Some behaviors could be explained away as reasonable by any person. Everyone occasionally makes mistakes with traffic lights or has slow reactions. Accidents that involve one person hitting another don't just happen because someone is intoxicated.

The field sobriety tests will be looked at. If you were drowsy and on cold medication, your reaction times might have been slow. But again, how can they know definitively that your behavior was different than normal? Your lawyer will work with you on this. Yes, you are responsible if you caused an accident. But if you feel the charge of a DWI is excessive, let your lawyer help you argue against it.

Reducing Penalties

Many people can get caught up in getting a DWI after taking medication; it's a law that is not as familiar as the ones surrounding drunk driving. Even if you are convicted of a DWI, work with your lawyer to try to get the associated fines reduced. Penalties, such as revoking a license and driving privileges, could be lifted in some states with enough evidence.

For more information or help, contact a professional defense attorney through sites like http://www.trafficlawyersuffolkcounty.com.