Can I Get a DWI from My Prescribed Medication?

Prescription Medications and DWI

When most people think of DWI, they think of someone getting behind the wheel after having too many drinks or smoking marijuana. While those actions can definitely apply, you may be surprised to find out that driving after taking prescription medication can also land you in hot water — even if it was prescribed to you by a doctor.

Here’s what you need to know about taking prescription medications if you plan to drive.

Can I Get a DWI from My Prescribed MedicationTEXAS LAW ON DRUGGED DRIVING

Texas law has expanded to include more than just alcohol when it comes to impaired driving. Under Section 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code, you can be charged with a DWI of Drugs if you put “a controlled substance, drugs, dangerous drugs, a combination of two or more of these substances, or any other substance into the body.”


While your doctor may have prescribed you a certain medication to help with a health issue, it may also cause you to be impaired behind the wheel — as can over-the-counter medications. Police officers are trained to recognize drivers impaired by drugs and, if they think you were not able to safely operate your vehicle, they may arrest you.

The following are medications that are often associated with drugged driver impairment:

  • Xanax

  • Valium

  • Vicodin

  • Ambien

  • Soma

  • Alprazolam


Unlike alcohol-related DWI in which blood alcohol content can be tested to determine impairment, there is no definitive, scientific test for impairment by drugs — it’s solely at the discretion of the police officer to determine if your medication affected your ability to drive safely.

This makes it essential to have a skilled attorney on your side to craft a defense that breaks down the officer’s testimony and proves you were able to safely operate your vehicle after taking your medication.


At Deandra Grant Law, our firm combines the superior personal service of a small firm with the resources and results of a large one. Our legal team includes an award-winning trial lawyer/scientist who has trained on DWI and has achieved superb results for North Texans for more than 25 years.

Contact us for a consultation about your case.

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