Can Everyday Medication Cause A DUI? What You Should Know

When you hear about driving under the influence, you may think, like most people, that the reference is to illegal use of drugs or alcohol. However, there are some over-the-counter products that can cause you to test positive if you are pulled over for a DUI. The following are some regular products that may blow positive on a breath test.

Oral Pain Medication

When you have a toothache, you likely use some type of numbing medicine to ease the pain. An oral analgesic can possibly cause a positive on a breath test due to the ingredients. The alcohols used in the medication, such as phenol and benzocaine, can increase the alcohol content in your mouth and cause a false positive on your test.

Cold Medication

Cold medication can also cause a false positive on a breath test. Most varieties of cough syrup, particularly the nighttime variety, are high in alcohol. The goal of these medications is to help you sleep when you are sick. If you take it and then get behind the wheel of a car, you can fail a breath test if you are stopped.

Cough Drops

Some cough drops even have a high enough alcohol content to trip a breath test. Before you take a cough drop, read the ingredients to see the alcohol levels it contains. When you use cough drops and you plan to drive, have a bottle of water to sip on. This will help keep any residual alcohol out of your mouth.

Asthma Medicine

If you utilize an inhaler for your asthma, you could fail a breath test when you are pulled over. The medicine inside an inhaler contains methyl. If you just took a breath off your inhaler and you are pulled over, the test can come back positive for alcohol. In fact, the test could read very high if you had just used your inhaler a few moments prior to being pulled over.

This is a short list of medications that can cause a false positive result on your breath test. If you are pulled over and the officer decides to give you a breath test due to suspected alcohol use, mention that you just used a certain type of medication with a high alcohol content. While you can still face problems, it will help you in court should the case move that far. If you are arrested for DUI after taking medicine, speak to an attorney as soon as possible to clear up any miscommunication.

For more information, contact a law firm like Hart Law Group.