Is it still considered driving while impaired (DWI) if you took a prescribed drug? In the State of North Carolina (and several other states), the answer is yes. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs can have the same possible impairments brought by alcohol or other illegal substances, which means that if your medication affected your driving skills, you could be charged with DWI.
There are various medicines that can affect your ability to focus on driving safely. Some drugs prescribed for lifelong conditions like asthma can cause drowsiness. For diseases like diabetes or other mental illnesses, the medicines can cause weakness from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) or from imbalances in hormones. Sleeping pills can also have lingering effects the day after they are taken.
Even if you take them exactly as prescribed by your doctor, the negative cognitive effects might still be evident. Many drugs come with the warning not to drive when you take them, and doctors generally advise you the same. If you get arrested, your blood can be tested for substances that can impair how you drive, and you could be convicted if the results confirm their presence.
If your driving skills were impaired because of a prescribed medication and you’re facing charges, consult a Raleigh DWI lawyer. They can help you with your defense to get the best outcome for the case.