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It’s that time of year again, flu season. If you’re unlucky enough to have had a case of flu you may have opted for an over the counter cold or flu remedy to alleviate some of the symptoms. You may be surprised to learn that over the counter remedies could land you with a hefty fine and even a ban from driving altogether under drug driving laws. Don’t think that being a learner driver means you can’t get a driving ban. It’s not common but it does happen.

The effects of driving while taking medicines

Many over the counter drugs include chemicals which can influence your ability to drive. Some of the effects of driving while under the influence of drugs are:

  • Slower reactions
  • Less control over your vehicle
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Poor judgement of stopping distances or speeds
  • Impaired vision

What exactly is “drug driving”?

When we talk about “drugs” in this instance we mean any drugs, whether prescription, over the counter or even illegal drugs. Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, the police have a duty to prove that your driving is impaired due to being under the influence of drugs in order to attempt to prosecute. The latest amendment to the act specified certain drugs and the dosages which will be over the legal limit.

Does that mean you shouldn’t drive on any medications?

No, it doesn’t. Thousands of people take medications and go about their driving lessons every day without any problems. If you are concerned that your medication does have side-effects that impair your ability to drive, speak to your doctor to see if there is an alternative or if you could perhaps adjust your dosage. Always let us know before we embark upon a driving lesson that you are on medication. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are fit to drive. If you take medicine and are then found to be over the legal limit, it is your responsibility. Ultimately these laws are here to keep not only you and your instructor safe but other road users and pedestrians too. Intuition Driver training provides safe and enjoyable driving lessons in Stoke on Trent and Newcastle Under Lyme. Contact us to get started.