Driving is something that the majority of the population takes as a serious task that involves some level of responsibility to be mindful of the safety of yourself and the safety of others. Unfortunately, there can be factors that allow this outlook to fall by the wayside, and drivers do sometimes fall asleep at the wheel and get charged with a DUI and need legal representation because of it.
You could fall asleep due to prescription medication.
Prescription medications often come with warnings about the inducing of drowsiness or driving, and it is highly important to heed these warnings. Some medications take a while to dissolve in the system, so when they do kick in, you could easily already be driving if you've had no prior experience with taking the medicine. If you are given a new medication, make sure you know exactly how it will affect you before you head out on the road in your vehicle. Also, make sure you give medications enough time to react in your system and cause symptoms before you mistakenly believe you are fine to drive.
You could fall asleep due to alcohol consumption.
Alcohol is not a stimulant, it is a depressant. It is also capable of raising your blood pressure. Both of these facts can also mean alcohol, even minimal consumption, could make you so sleepy that you nod off unexpectedly. For example, say you have a glass or two of wine at dinner and decide to make a trip to the store. By the time the alcohol takes full effect, you are behind the wheel, which means you could be at risk of falling asleep.
You could fall asleep due to sleeping pills.
Many Americans take sleeping pills every night to help them get to sleep and get rest. However, if you consistently rely on sleep-inducing medications and are also a driver, you do have to be careful. If you get up in the morning and the sleep aids you took the night before have not worn off, you could easily fall asleep without meaning to while you are on the road. Even some oversight like this could lead to a DUI charge.
These situations can be extremely dangerous for the driver and the people who share the road with them. And a driver who has fallen asleep at the wheel may not have been acting irresponsibly when they climbed behind the wheel at all. If you have been in an accident because a driver fell asleep at the wheel, contact an auto accident attorney for help.