The RAC warns that you should always consult with your GP before taking your car for a spin when taking new medication
Driving in winter can be a real challenge, with icy roads and frosty windscreens.
But did you know that even driving with a common cold could get you into trouble? Some everyday medicines like Codeine can affect your ability to drive safely because they can make you feel drowsy or dizzy.
Experts advise always checking with your doctor before driving when taking new medication. If you don’t tell the DVLA about certain conditions, you could end up with a hefty £1,000 fine. The RAC warns on its website: “Many legal medicines and widely-used painkillers could impair your driving and it’s an offence in England, Scotland, and Wales to drive with specified limits of certain drugs in your blood.”
If you’re caught drug-driving, you could face a minimum one-year ban and a criminal record. You could also get an unlimited fine, up to six months in prison, and your driving licence will show you’ve been convicted for drug driving for the next 11 years.
The maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving under the influence of drugs is life imprisonment.
The Government advises that people should always check with their doctor before driving if they’re taking any of the following medications, as reported by The Mirror:
- opioid pain relievers
- prescription drugs for anxiety (for example, benzodiazepines)
- anti-seizure drugs (antiepileptic drugs)
- antipsychotic drugs
- some antidepressants
- products containing codeine
- some cold remedies and allergy products, such as antihistamines (both prescription and OTC)
- sleeping pills
- muscle relaxants
- medicines that treat or control symptoms of diarrhea
- medicines that treat or prevent symptoms of motion sickness
- diet pills, “stay awake” drugs, and other medications with stimulants (e.g., caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine)
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