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The danger of driving while using prescription drugs

Here is the scenario: you were not drinking, but police pulled you over and arrested you for DUI. Your doctor prescribed a new drug last week and, like a good patient, you took it. You did not realize you should not be driving while on your new prescription.

Should you drive while on your prescription?

While many people assume their doctor or health care provider will tell them if it is safe to drive while using their prescription, that is not always the case.

It is best to make sure you ask, even if they do not bring it up. You can do so by checking the warning labels on your prescription or by asking your doctor or pharmacist. You should also be aware of side effects that can have an impact on your ability to drive, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slower movement or reaction times
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Lack of focus
  • Nausea
  • Excitability or irritability

If these are potential side effects of your prescription or if you are experiencing these side effects, you should not drive until you talk to your health care provider. Driving on prescription drugs can lead to legal consequences.

Tennessee and Georgia laws

Both Tennessee and Georgia have laws that prohibit anyone from driving or being in control of a vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicants, including a controlled substance like a prescription drug. Consequences for a DUI often depend on your level of influence or intoxication and how many past DUI charges you have had. You can be facing fines, loss of your license and even jail time.

Even though you may not have known how your prescription would affect your driving abilities, you can still be charged with a DUI. Be careful.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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