Are your antidepressants putting you at risk for an OWI stop?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2021 | Owi/dui

Depression is one of the more common mental health issues Americans face. In fact, more than 17 million individuals in the U.S. have had at least one major depressive episode in the past six years. This accounts for roughly 6.7% of adults in the country.

Modern medicine gives doctors and mental health professionals a variety of options for treating depression. A common one is the prescription of antidepressant medication, such as sertraline, fluoxetine or citalopram.

Side effects

If you take an antidepressant or any other prescription or over-the-counter medication, it is advisable to read through the list of possible side effects. It may also make sense to avoid driving until you see how a new medication affects you personally.

Antidepressants and other drugs may cause you to become drowsy or even to lose your ability to control your vehicle. Naturally, if officers observe you driving irresponsibly or dangerously, they are likely to stop your vehicle. This is true regardless of whether you have consumed alcohol.

Alcohol interaction

Alcohol and many antidepressants simply do not mix well. Combining alcohol with your prescription antidepressant medication may interfere with your judgment, causing you to take unnecessary driving risks or to drive recklessly. This may draw the attention of officers who are likely to believe you are operating a vehicle while impaired.

Drinking alcohol after you have taken your antidepressants may also exacerbate your anxiety or depression, causing your symptoms to worsen considerably. Ultimately, because it is your responsibility to comply with Wisconsin’s driving rules, mixing alcohol and antidepressants may land you in handcuffs during an OWI stop.

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