Can You Get a DUI from Using Cold Medicine?
Skilled Tampa DUI Lawyers Answer a Common Question
As the country battles one of the worst flu seasons in nearly a decade, you may be reaching for over-the-counter remedies to stifle that sniffle or soothe that throat. Do so carefully. Many over-the-counter medications have side effects that can impair your ability to drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery. Taking too much – or combining more than one – cold medicine can result in a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) if you take to the wheel.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drugs – legal and illegal – were involved in approximately 16% of motor vehicle crashes in 2015. Florida defines DUI as driving under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances. It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle when impaired – whether the impairment is due to drugs, alcohol, or any combination of the two.
Cold medicines have side effects
Before you pop that pill or swig that syrup, read the label. Cold medicines and other over-the-counter drugs have side effects. It is important look at the ingredients list, read the proper dosing instructions, and check for warnings and side effects. Over-the-counter cold remedies can cause drowsiness, sleepiness, dizziness, and stomach upset. Some may hamper your ability to concentrate and impair coordination. Some medications contain caffeine; others, such as cough syrup, may contain alcohol.
Know what medicine you are taking and learn of the side effects before making the decision to drive. Some side effects do not present until an hour or two after taking a medication and not everyone has the same reaction to a drug.
The cold remedies section at the local drugstore is filled with an assortment of medications designed to treat aches and pains, fever, cough, sore throat, or a combination of those symptoms. Many of these medications contain the same ingredients. Be careful about mixing over-the-counter medicines or using them simultaneously to avoid adverse effects. Consult with your doctor or a pharmacist to determine which over-the-counter medicine is best given your symptoms and be sure to inform them of any other medication you are currently taking.
Florida has stiff penalties for DUI. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact our experienced Tampa Bay DUI lawyers today at 877-728-9653
The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs in the state of Florida are the same as those for driving under the influence of alcohol. First time offenders face jail time, license suspension, and fines. Those drivers with subsequent convictions face stiffer penalties. Understand your rights and the consequences of a DUI charge. The DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. have been serving the Tampa Bay community since 1971 and have a reputation for success. Contact our office today to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your situation. We can be reached at 877-728-9653 or online.