Many Illinois citizens require the use of prescription medications to regulate body functions or emotional health. Operating a vehicle while taking some medications prove incredibly dangerous to both you, other drivers and pedestrians.

If you drive while taking certain medications, a court may convict you of a DUI. A judge may require you to pay significant fines, suspend your license and even make you serve jail time. If you are on prescribed drugs, you must be sure that you are sober enough to operate a vehicle. Your life depends on it.

An Illinois DUI includes drugs

Many citizens associate a DUI with driving under the influence of alcohol. Campaigns surrounding DUI charges demonstrate drunk bar-goers getting behind the wheel, fumbling for their keys and subsequently weaving across lanes of traffic.

But what if you exhibit signs of intoxication without ever consuming alcohol?

Illinois DUI charges include operating a vehicle while under the influence of prescribed drugs. Perfectly legal when consumed in a safe circumstance, your medication proves to be detrimental to your health and criminal record should you consume your medication before driving.

Reactions to your medication may make you appear drunk. The FDA reports the following symptoms of serious side effects of consuming some prescription drugs.

  • Sleepiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Slow reaction time
  • Inability to pay attention
  • Nausea

Should an officer pull you over for exhibiting these symptoms, he or she may perform a field sobriety test. You may not be able to pass the test, and further testing at a police station for possible drugs in your body may be conducted. In Illinois, if you are found to have consumed prescription drugs that caused your inability to follow safe driving laws, you may be charged with a DUI.

Use caution when using medication of any kind

The FDA also concludes that some medications require extreme caution before consumption and driving. These include:

  • Anxiety medication
  • Antidepressants
  • Sleeping pills
  • Pain relievers
  • Caffeine pills
  • Cold and flu products

Before operating a vehicle, understand the possible side effects of using your medication. Knowing potential risks may help you decide whether operating a vehicle proves safe for yourself and others.

You may never choose to drive while drunk, so choose not to take prescription drugs and drive.