America is a pill culture. Every day a large percentage of our population drives the highways of Texas under the care of prescription medication that can possibly effect their mental or physical abilities. Key word: possibly. Each individual is in the best position to use their judgment as to when they should or should not drive, but you should exercise caution when driving on prescription medication, because it can lead to a DWI arrest. If an officer believes that you have lost the normal use of your physical or mental faculties because of a certain drug, you can be arrested. This includes your own medication. Drugs such as “narcotics” and “painkillers” and “antidepressants/psychotropics” are ones that will get the closest look. And, most officers are not trained extensively on testing for the side effects of these drugs like they are trained to test for alcohol impairment.
Add in alcohol, which could possibly (again, possibly) increase the side effects of certain drugs, and things become much more difficult. Officers have a difficult time in judging how one medication interacts with another, or interacts with alcohol. The prejudice factor is very high, so err on the side of caution when choosing to drive with alcohol, and be much more careful when mixing it with prescription medications. There is a strong likelihood that a DWI stop will result in your arrest, and you will need a lawyer and a toxicologist to help the jury understand why you could have been okay to drive at that point.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal prosecution, please feel free to call me at 903-744-4252.