Getting arrested for DWI as a senior may come as a shock to you, especially if you’ve taken pride as a careful driver. But unfortunately, getting older can heighten the risk of getting charged with a DWI.
A Cavalcade of Factors
As we age, we often have a slower reaction time to road events, and our reflexes aren’t as quick. Our bodies also may not metabolize alcohol as quickly as they once did. To further complicate matters, certain medications may enhance the effects of alcohol, making you sleepy or lightheaded behind the wheel. Diminished eyesight can also hamper your ability to drive well. When you add these various issues and changes together, your driving might be more impaired than you believed it to be, and you are at enhanced risk of getting into an accident–or arrested for DWI.
How to Avoid DWI arrest as a Senior Citizen
Being a senior doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t drive anymore. However, it does mean that you need to take extra precautions to ensure that you don’t inadvertently find yourself driving while intoxicated.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before driving. According to a 2014 study, even a single drink before driving may heighten the risk of an accident for senior drivers. It’s best to say ‘no’ to any drinks if you know that you’re going to be getting behind the wheel later.
- Check your medication’s side effects. Certain drugs are more likely than others to impair your ability to drive. Medications such as opioid pain relievers, anxiety drugs, antiepileptic drugs, sleeping pills, and certain antihistamines and antidepressants are likely to make driving more dangerous. They may also increase the risk of you being arrested for DWI.
- Have your vision tested regularly. You should see an eye doctor at least once a year to make sure that you still see well enough to drive, especially at night. The police could pull you over, believing you to be DWI, if you’re swerving on the road because you can’t see well.
- When in doubt, opt out. If you’re not sure whether the medications you’re on will impair your driving, or if you couldn’t resist having a glass of wine while during a night out, be safe rather than sorry and don’t get behind the wheel.
Hire an Experienced DWI Attorney
If you’re a senior arrested for DWI, you will need an experienced DWI attorney to fight for your rights. At Tenn And Tenn, P.A., our experienced New Hampshire family law attorneys can help guide you through the process and protect your rights. Give us a call at (603) 624-3700 or contact us online for a consultation.