Various medications have side effects that could affect how a person feels and, sometimes, behaves. Over-the-counter medication as well as prescriptions can affect each person differently. You may be able to take certain medications without feeling any of the listed potential side effects, but you may know someone who cannot take that same medication without immediately feeling drowsy.

Because medications affect everyone so differently, you may not know how a certain drug will cause you to feel, especially if it is one you have not taken before. Even if a doctor has prescribed a drug to you for valid medical reasons, you could still end up pulled over by police if the side effects of the medication affect your driving abilities.

Driving under the influence

Unfortunately, even when taking legal medications with a valid prescription, an officer could still stop your vehicle and arrest you for driving under the influence. You may think this is unfair because you did not believe you did anything wrong, but if an officer believes you presented a danger to those on the road, you could end up charged.

Any of the following common side effects of widely used medications could affect the way you drive:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Impaired judgment
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Impaired coordination
  • Nausea

If you take a new medication or your doctor changes the dosage of your medication, you would be wise to wait until you know how the changes will affect you before driving. You undoubtedly do not want to end up causing a crash or otherwise putting others at risk because you did not know how your medication would affect you. It is also important to remember that the effects of a medication can change if mixed with another substance, including alcohol.

Facing a DUI charge

In the event that you do face a DUI charge involving prescription medication, you may understandably want to fight that allegation. Fortunately, you have the legal right to defend against any criminal charges. It may be in your interests to discuss the details of the traffic stop and arrest with an experienced Georgia attorney. Your legal counsel can determine whether the officer had valid probable cause to take you into custody and how the fact that you had a valid prescription or used an over-the-counter drug could affect your case.