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Medications and impaired driving

You probably already know that you could receive a DWI charge in New York for driving under the influence of certain medications. If an officer finds that you seem dizzy, speak unclearly or seem tired, the officer could arrest you for impaired driving.

A better understanding of the impacts of certain medications gives you the ability to choose wisely when to drive and when not to drive.


The Mayo Clinic cautions that this medication can cause dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting, making it potentially inappropriate to drive under its influence. If you have only recently begun taking codeine, you should monitor how it affects your body for a period of 24 to 72 hours, as different people have different side effects and reactions.

Codeine also has possible interactions with a long list of medications. These interactions could worsen some of the side effects, which could make driving even more unsuitable. Medications and substances with potentially adverse reactions to codeine include the following:

  • Alcohol
  • CNS depressants
  • Allergy drugs
  • Antihistamines
  • Sedatives
  • Muscle relaxants

Impacts include poor concentration and drowsiness. You should always heed the recommendation of doctors as well as warning labels on the medicine.

Hydrocodone and acetaminophen

The Mayo Clinic also warns that this combination of pain medication can impair driving. It will add to the effects of alcohol and other substances so that only one drink could result in a reduced capacity to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Understanding the medications you take and how they affect you can help you stay safe and legal on the road. Even cold medications could lead to a DWI charge in New York.