Can Over-the-Counter Drugs Cause a Failed Field Sobriety Test?

Can Over-the-Counter Drugs Cause a Failed Field Sobriety Test?

Posted on : April 4, 2021
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Being stopped for drinking and driving can be extremely upsetting, especially if you haven’t had anything to drink at all. If the officer suspects you of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they might approach you unfairly aggressively or order you to take a field sobriety test. When this happens, respectfully refuse and request a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) evaluation instead, either by breathalyzer or a lab test. 

Can an OTC Medication Cause You to Fail a Field Sobriety Test? 

If you do submit to a field sobriety test and fail, could medications you take from the drugstore be to blame? 

Medications can have significant effects on the human body and frequently have undesirable side effects. Sleepiness, lack of coordination and stability, and trouble focusing are just some of the possible effects of an OTC medicine. These adverse effects may make driving a car or other motor vehicle more difficult, and you can fail field sobriety tests as a result.  

Prescription and over-the-counter medicines could cause you to become unbalanced or have trouble following the officer’s commands. Even if you’re sober, this, along with the fear of interacting with a law enforcement officer, can cause a failed roadside sobriety test. 

What Medications Can Cause a Failed Roadside Sobriety Test?

Below are some of the most prevalent medicines that can result in a failed field sobriety test:

  • Medications for cough
  • NyQuil and other cold and flu drugs
  • Albuterol inhalers (a drug used to treat asthma)
  • Medications that relax your muscles
  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • ADD/ADHD medications
  • Sleeping pills

Beyond medication side effects, you can fail the field sobriety test if you have any medical conditions that cause similar physical effects, such as: 

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye) 
  • Injuries to the brain
  • Problems with your inner ear, such as tinnitus or Meniere’s Disease 
  • Difficulty with hearing or speech 
  • Injuries to the joints or bones that affect balance, including arthritis 
  • Being overweight or obese 

Pulled Over for Drunk Driving? Get An Attorney Today 

Our law firm understands that a drunk driving arrest can be caused by a variety of drugs and medical problems. If you think your DWI was influenced by an OTC medication or a medical disorder, you should know that you can contest the claims. It will be more complicated if you have failed a field sobriety test, but you have the better shot with an accomplished lawyer by your side.

Call Richard Brueckner today for a consultation at 410-430-1464.

Posted by: Richard Brueckner

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