You are feeling flu-like symptoms at work. During your break, you decide to take some Nyquil to help you get through the remaining of the day. You consume more than the recommended dosage in hopes that it will have you feeling better in no time. Your condition worsens so you decide to leave work early and drive home to lay down. While driving home, you accidentally run a stop sign and a cop pulls you over. The cop observes your flushed face and notices that you begin sweating when he asks you a series of questions. Though you deny drinking any alcohol, he asks you to step out of the car to perform field sobriety tests. By this point in time, you feel dizzy and faint. You fail the field sobriety tests and the cop takes a breathalyzer test. Unbeknownst to you, the Nyquil that you consumed has certain ingredients in it that inhibits the accuracy of breathalyzer readings. Before you know it, you are being arrested and booked for drunk driving.
The above situation is uncommon, but it does happen on occasion in the Washtenaw County area. Most people are unaware that consuming large amounts of Nyquil, Vicks Formula 44, or Theraflu can result in a charge of drunk driving. Read on to learn more about how these products impair drivers and how a skilled DUI attorney can get the charge reduced or dismissed.
Over-the-Counter Medications that Impair Driving
As mentioned above, consuming large amounts of over-the-counter (OTC) medications can impair a driver’s reaction time. According to The Dr. Oz Show, consuming the recommended dosage of common OTC medications has the same effect on drivers as consuming 3 glasses of wine. For example, antihistamines that are in allergy medications are known to reduce reaction time, impair coordination, and make people extremely tired. Decongestants are known to make people feel dizzy. Cough medications that contain small amounts of alcohol also impair a person’s driving skills as well. Though most medications have labels that warn against driving after consumption, many people fail to read them.
Depending on the medication you consumed, it may have impacted your field sobriety tests results or breathalyzer result. Talk to an attorney about criminal defense techniques that can be used to contest a charge.
Challenge Lab Results, Field Sobriety & Breathalyzer Tests
For some over the counter medications, your blood test lab results should come back negative for the consumption of a controlled substance. These lab results will be key in proving that you were not driving under the influence of a controlled substance. These results may be critical in proving your innocence if you performed poorly on the field sobriety tests.
In the case of over the counter medications that contain alcohol, your blood test lab results will likely result in a blood alcohol content. If the blood alcohol content exceeds the 0.08% legal limit, you will be charged with operating while intoxicated.
Hire an experienced attorney to challenge the field sobriety tests and breathalyzer test results. Depending on the charge, the attorney will have to prove that your driving was not impaired by the OTC substance you ingested. She will have to review how each test was administered to see if it was in accordance with mandated practices. If mandated practices were not followed correctly, the attorney may be able to have the evidence suppressed.
Contact Ann Arbor impaired driving attorney Stacey Washington for a consultation. She can review your case and provide you with legal advice on how to best proceed. Call 734-274-6567 to schedule a consultation.