What Common Legal Drugs Can Lead to DWI?

One of the more frequent questions Texas residents ask criminal defense law firms is if prescription drugs could lead to a DWI arrest. They are harder to prove than drunk driving and those accused are using a substance that is perfectly legal. Not to mention, most of these are necessary to help the client function throughout the day.

To answer those questions, an officer can arrest you for driving while impaired if they find you have prescription or over-the-counter drugs in your system. Even celebrities are not immune to getting charges from going behind the wheel after taking pain medication. Since there is no minimum level of intoxication for prescription drugs, it may not take much for the prosecutor to convince the court that you were driving while impaired. Before you head out on the road, you should be aware of popular medications that could lead to a DWI conviction in Texas courts.


Those with severe issues with depression rely on these drugs to help ease their increasingly troubling thoughts. The most common type of antidepressant is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can be found in common prescription and store drugs such as Zoloft, Prozac and Luvox. Most antidepressants can cause nausea, making it difficult for drivers to concentrate on the roads. Drowsy driving is also a frequent consequence, as some drugs lead to drowsiness quickly or give the user insomnia, resulting in them being tired and unfocused the next day.

Cough medicine

Now that the flu and cold season is upon us, many Texans risk contacting a coughing illness that can negatively impact their daily routine. One of the more common symptoms of most cough medicines is drowsiness, as most of these drugs have suppressants meant to relieve pain and reduce sore throats and coughing. Given that many of these have a high percentage of alcohol in them, they can also impact any Breathalyzer tests you could take.


A common problem the last two drugs shared were making the user tired after usage. Stimulants are meant to keep you more alert and awake, but they can also make you less concentrated while driving in the process. Additionally, it can also mask the depressant properties of alcohol. This means that users will have a harder time telling if they are drunk and may try to consume more alcohol because of it. If you think a bit of Adderall is going to improve your driving capabilities, think again.

If you receive a conviction for DWI with prescription or other legal drugs, you receive the same charges that some charged for DWI with alcohol in their system would receive. DWI laws are particularly harsh in Texas, so be sure to read the warning label and test the drug at home before you think about driving with it in your system.

Related Posts
  • Field Sobriety Test Basics Read More
  • Do DWI Laws Apply to Drugs? Read More
  • Can You Refuse Breath Analysis Tests? Read More