By: Brooke Price
According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 13.2% of adults over 18 in the U.S. reported use of antidepressant medications from 2015-2018. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) are among the most commonly prescribed, but can cause serious side effects including headaches, drowsiness, insomnia, and dizziness.
Previously, we’ve discussed the implications of prescription drug DUIs. However, as SSRIs are not considered controlled substances, addressing these charges presents unique challenges.
Common SSRIs include:
• Citalopram (Celexa)
• Escitalopram (Lexapro)
• Fluoxetine (Prozac)
• Paroxetine (Paxil)
• Sertraline (Zoloft)
In Texas, intoxication is defined as, “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body” (Texas Penal Code §49.0).
Unlike alcohol-related DUI stops, if you are suspected of prescription drug intoxication, it is at the officer’s discretion to decide whether or not you are driving impaired. And after an arrest is made, you may be asked for a blood sample to determine the presence of medication in your system.
The presence of an SSRI in your system is not sufficient grounds for a conviction — with an experienced attorney at your side, you may be able to fight these charges.
If you have been arrested in Williamson or Bell County for DUI while taking any antidepressant medication, it is important that you seek representation right away. Call Price & Twine, PLLC, today at (512)-354-1880 so we can review your case.