Drinking while driving is always a bad idea; the more significant the alcohol consumed, the more difficult you might find to operate your vehicle. However, even worse is the consumption of alcohol and certain types of medications, such as sleep medications.
How Medications Affect Your Ability to Drive
Certain medications can slow down reaction times and make it unsafe to drive. When combined with alcohol, the effects are even more potent. The symptoms you're more likely to experience include drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired motor control.
Consuming sleeping pills with alcohol will also increase the odds of an overdose. The effects can happen suddenly, even when you believe operating a vehicle for a short period is safe.
Why You Might Be Charged with a DUI
In most states, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is treated the same as driving a car under the influence of drugs. However, if you had one beer and your blood alcohol is below the legal limit, you might still be considered intoxicated due to the consumption of sleeping pills.
If you are considering taking over-the-counter medications, read the list of side effects and avoid taking any medications that might affect your driving ability. If you are taking a prescription drug, discuss with your doctor whether operating a vehicle after consuming it would be safe.
A common reason sleeping pills lead to a DUI is that an individual takes sleeping pills, falls asleep, and suffers from the "next day" effect. The sleeping pills continue to affect the ability of the motorist to operate a vehicle safely.
Penalties for a DUI
If you are charged with a DUI over the consumption of sleeping pills and alcohol, your penalties will depend on the state in which you reside. You might be charged with a misdemeanor. Felony convictions are more common for those who have already been charged with a DUI before.
Why You Need an Attorney
After being charged with a DUI, you must contact a DUI attorney immediately. They can help you build a strong case for why your charges should be reduced or dismissed. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will work hard to ensure you are acquitted.
There are various ways your attorney can defend you in court. They can argue that the officer didn't have probable cause to stop you in the first place. They can cast doubt on the method used to determine that you were under the influence of sleeping medications. Because the prosecutor must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you may be fully acquitted.
For more information on DUI law, contact a professional near you.