Like most people, when you think of a DUI, you probably think of the consumption of alcohol or illicit substances shortly before or while driving. However, any medication that can limit your ability to think clearly or to react quickly to your surroundings could lead to a DUI, including the common cold or flu.
Many people take over-the-counter cold medicine during the day. You may take it to handle your errands or a day at work. Daytime medications are supposed to help limit the symptoms, but according to WebMD, they also have side effects that could mimic drunkenness.
What is daytime cold medication?
Cold medication can include various types of medication. Most cold medicines include decongestants and pain relief. Most cold medicine you can buy at your local pharmacy helps alleviate daily symptoms. It should help with congestion, headaches, nausea and other symptoms associated with your cold. Nighttime medicine tends to have an ingredient that can help increase sleepiness, such as an antihistamine. Many daytime medicines do not include ingredients that make you drowsy.
How does daytime cold medication mimic alcohol?
For some people, cold medicine comes with various side effects. You could find yourself dizzy or drowsy, despite the ingredients. In addition to the dizziness and drowsiness caused by the medication, it may feel worse because your cold can also cause fatigue. When pulled over, you may appear tired and if asked to take a field sobriety test, you may do poorly due to dizziness.
People should also take special care when drinking alcohol or other cold medicine. Cold medicine can increase the effects of anti-anxiety medication and alcohol.