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What to Know About Medications and DWIs

Updated: Jul 9, 2023 @ 2:48 pm

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

Were you recently charged with a DWI in Houston for driving while on prescribed medication? If so, it’s critical to begin working on your defense as soon as possible. We know how frustrating and angering it can be to be accused of driving while impaired after running an errand in your car after taking a prescription medication, or while using an over-the-counter drug to treat a cold or the flu. Our Houston DWI defense lawyers are here to help you with your case, and the following are some key things to know about medications and DWIs in Texas.

DWI Charges Apply If You Drive While Influence by Prescription Drugs

The Texas Penal Code allows a person to be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) even if they are intoxicated as a result of using a legal medication purchased over-the-counter or for which they have a prescription.

Under Texas law, a person commits a DWI “if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” The law’s definition of “intoxicated” makes clear that DWI charges can be brought even if a person is impaired due to the use of a lawful medication.

Texas law says that intoxicated means “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”

Some Medications Contain Alcohol and Could Affect Your BAC

Most DWI offenses in which a person is alleged to be intoxicated due to use of a medication will not involve a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08 because the intoxication will not result from alcohol.

However, it is important to know that there are some types of medications that contain alcohol and could result in an amount of alcohol showing up on a breath or blood test. For example, certain types of over-the-counter medicines for cold and flu contain amounts of alcohol. In addition, taking certain medications that contain alcohol in conjunction with other medicines can result in

Common Medications That Can Cause Impaired Driving

Many different types of common medications can result in impairment that could lead to a DWI. Common types of medicines that could result in DWI charges include, for example:

  • Cold medicines (such as Nyquil);
  • Antihistamines;
  • Anxiety and depression medications; and
  • Medications to treat seizures.

Contact a DWI Defense Attorney in Houston Today

If you are facing DWI charges resulting from alleged impaired driving due to use of a valid prescription medication or over-the-counter drug, it is important to seek advice from one of our experienced Houston DWI defense attorneys as soon as possible.

Even though you lawfully used a medicine, you can still face DWI charges and need to begin building a strong defense in your case. Contact The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today to speak with an aggressive Houston DWI lawyer. Our firm has years of experience serving clients in Texas.

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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