Can your cold medicine really lead to a DUI?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | DUI Defense |

Even though it’s a time of year where it’s not as common to get sick, if you do have symptoms of a cold, it’s normal to take some medications. Be careful what you put in your system, though, because choosing medications that make you drowsy or disoriented could end up leading to a DUI charge. 

Many people don’t understand that DUI charges can be filed when a person drives under the influence of any intoxicating substance. That substance doesn’t have to be alcohol or illicit drugs. Even over-the-counter medications can lead to DUI charges if you are impaired on them and choose to drive.

What kinds of issues can lead to a DUI while taking medication?

There are a few main issues that are more likely to lead to a DUI if you’re stopped by police. These include:

  • Feeling drowsy from the medications and having trouble staying awake
  • Disorientation or confusion making it hard for you to hold a conversation with the officer
  • A high blood alcohol content reading caused by alcohol in the medication (which may be in the mouth and create a false reading)

These issues may all lead to DUI charges, but you do have a right to fight them.

What should you do if you’re facing DUI charges due to a cold medicine?

It’s a good idea not to say or do anything that makes your situation worse, and that includes admitting that you’ve used medications or that you realize you were impaired while driving. Instead, invoke your right to remain silent until you’ve had a chance to speak with your attorney. That’s the best decision you can make to protect your future.