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When driving a cold away drives you toward trouble with the law

We've all been there. You're expected at an important business meeting or final exams at a Washington college, and you can barely think straight because your head is pounding, nose is stuffy and eyes are a watery mess. Rescheduling is not an option, so you try to think of ways to alleviate your symptoms in order to forge ahead, muddle through and fulfill your obligations. What you'd really like is a warm blanket, cup of steaming hot tea and sleep; however, in times like these, something stronger is often necessary.

You go to your medicine cabinet and take a dose of cough syrup and decongestant. You choose what usually works best for you, then finish getting ready, grab your keys and head out the door. The problem is that you never expected the medicine you took before leaving your house or apartment would lead to possible criminal charges.

Medicines that can prompt poor chemical test results

You simply weren't thinking police would pull you over and charge you with a crime as you fumbled through your cupboards seeking relief from your terrible head cold. The following list includes various types of medicines that can, in fact, cause driving impairment:

  • Decongestants: These can cause anxiety and dizziness when you take them alongside multi-symptom cold medicines and/or antihistamines.
  • Antihistamines: It's not uncommon for someone to use these when allergy or cold symptoms make it difficult to function; however, side effects often include sleepiness, loss of coordination and slower reaction times.
  • Caffeinated medications: It's understandable that someone lacking sleep from illness may consume caffeine-enhanced medications to stay awake, but such drugs often wear off quickly and may actually lead to increased feelings of exhaustion.
  • Cough syrups: Many contain alcohol. Ingesting this type of medication can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Most over-the-counter medications include warning labels if their ingredients can compromise your ability to drive a car.

If you took medication without first noticing a particular warning, you're certainly not the first person ever to do so. Something intended to help you feel better so you could get through your work or school day may wind up landing you in serious trouble with the law if a police officer pulls you over and charges you with DUI.

A Washington attorney can explain all available options toward building a strong defense against DUI charges in court. An attorney knows how to investigate if police properly administered chemical tests and whether a police officer violated your rights during a traffic stop or arrest process. Chances of obtaining a positive outcome typically increase alongside experienced defense assistance.

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