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DUI charges - not just because of alcohol

When you think of a criminal charge for driving under the influence, you may automatically think of alcohol. Of course, alcohol impairs your driving in the following ways:

  • Loss of self-control
  • Deterioration of judgment
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slow reaction times
  • Worsening vision and hearing

Drunk driving is certainly illegal. However, it is not the only substance that leads to DUI arrests and convictions. Here are some other ways you can face DUI charges.

Illegal substances

Even though there has been legalization for certain substances in Colorado, it is still unlawful to drive while high, and evidence of other illegal drugs in your system could result in more serious charges. Even seemingly harmless drugs may affect your driving in these ways:

  • Impaired judgment
  • Slow motor coordination
  • Reduced reaction time

Do not assume you will not face criminal consequences for drugged driving. The police are rigorously enforcing the law regarding drug use and operating a motor vehicle. 

Over-the-counter and prescribed drugs

When you purchase a medication at the pharmacy, either at the direction of your doctor or of your own accord, you may think it is not a big deal. However, some medications can cause you to get a DUI charge. Some drugs that may impair you include:

  • Sleeping pills: Drowsiness, slow reaction time and difficulty making decisions
  • Antihistamines: Impaired coordination and slow reaction time
  • Cold medicines: Dizziness, drowsiness and anxiety
  • Valum: Impairment similar to alcohol
  • Antidepressants: Sedation similar to drunkenness
  • Vicodin: Impaired physical and mental abilities

Whenever you buy a medication, make sure you talk to the pharmacist or look at any warning labels before taking it before driving. Yes, even legal drugs may get you a license suspension or put you behind bars.

While many DUI charges are due to alcohol intoxication, that is not always the case. Do not assume you are safe to drive just because you do not consume alcoholic beverages. In reality, there are multiple substances that may impair your ability to drive a car.

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