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Being pulled over for drinking and driving can be very unsettling, particularly if you haven’t had anything that would inebriate you. If the police officer thinks you may be intoxicated while driving, they may confront you forcefully or demand that you submit to a field sobriety test. If this occurs, kindly reject the offer and request that your BAC, or blood alcohol content, be assessed. 

Is It Possible to Fail a Field Sobriety Test Due to an Over-the-Counter Medication?

Could OTC medicines you buy at the drugstore be to blame if you take a field sobriety test and fail?

Medicines available at the drugstore can have a major impact on the human body, and they may also come with unpleasant side effects. An OTC medication can cause sleepiness, loss of balance and control, and difficulty concentrating, and more. As a result of these side effects, operating a motor vehicle of any kind can become more complicated, and can cause you to fail a field sobriety check. 

OTC and prescription drugs can make you unbalanced or make it difficult for you to obey the officer’s directives. And if you’re sober, this, along with the anxiety of engaging with a police officer, can result in failed field testing. 

What Drugs or Medical Problems Can Cause You to Fail a Field Sobriety Test?

Some of the most common drugs that can produce a failed roadside sobriety test are mentioned below:

  • Anti-cough medicine
  • Cold and flu medications such as NyQuil
  • Inhalers containing albuterol (a medication used to treat asthma)
  • Muscle relaxant drugs 
  • Medications to treat anxiety 
  • Medicines for treating ADD/ADHD
  • OTC sleeping medications 

You may also fail a field sobriety test if you have any medical problems that cause comparable physical symptoms like: 

  • Lazy eye (amblyopia or strabismus) 
  • Trauma to the brain
  • Inner ear problems, like Meniere’s Disease or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Deafness or muteness 
  • Arthritis and other joint or bone injuries that impair balance
  • Obesity or being overweight

Have You Been Arrested for Drunk Driving? Call a Lawyer Right Now

A drunk driving conviction can be exacerbated by a combination of medications and medical issues, and we know how challenging this is to face. If you believe your DWI was caused by an over-the-counter medicine or a health condition, you have the right to refute the charges against you. If you’ve failed a field sobriety check, this may make your case more difficult, but you’ll have a reasonable chance of success with an experienced attorney in your corner.

Contact Mark Cossuto today to discuss your case at (718) 852-8047 or toll free at (800) 609-4545.