The Best Defense Strategies Are Based In Experience

Consuming antidepressants and alcohol may lead to a DWI arrest

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | DWI

If you have depression or anxiety, your doctor may prescribe sertraline or another antidepressant to help you manage your symptoms. Like many prescription medications, antidepressants may cause you to experience side effects. Consequently, you should read about possible side effects and discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Antidepressants, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors, do not mix well with alcohol. Not only may combining alcohol with antidepressants cause physical side effects, but you may also be increasingly vulnerable to an arrest for driving while intoxicated.

A magnifying effect

You may know how much beer, wine or liquor it takes for you to feel intoxicated. If you take antidepressants, though, your medication may amplify the effects of alcohol. That is, you may have slowed reflexes and slurred speech despite drinking the same amount of booze or even less. You may also feel drowsy when combining alcohol and antidepressants.

Field sobriety testing

In Texas, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08%. Typically, officers watch for traffic violations and poor driving to form the reasonable suspicion they need to stop a vehicle. Then, they often ask suspected DWI drivers to perform a field sobriety test. If you have both antidepressants and alcohol in your system, you may not be able to pass the test.

Your mental state

While antidepressant medication should stabilize your mood, drinking alcohol while on antidepressants may have the opposite effect. That is, you may experience heightened anxiety or deep depression. Regrettably, if you have an altered mental state, you may not be able to respond rationally to a DWI stop.

Ultimately, if a combination of alcohol and antidepressants leads to a DWI arrest, you may need to explore drug interactions when building your defense.