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Could Your Cold Lead To A DUI Or Reckless Driving Charge?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | March 15, 2022

Imagine waking up and knowing that you’ve caught a cold. You have only today before the weekend, so you decide to take a little bit of cough syrup and get to work.

You don’t feel the best, but if you can just get through today, then you’ll be able to rest all weekend.

Before you do this, keep in mind that if you can’t drive safely, you could be accused of driving while under the influence or reckless driving. In Colorado, both have significant penalties.

How could you get a DUI or reckless driving charge?

When you don’t feel well and have to drive, your initial thought may be to get where you need to go as quickly as possible. At the same time, your medications may kick in and make you drowsy, dizzy or disoriented.

If you speed 25 mph or more over the speed limit, you could face a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense and face fines of up to $300. Reckless driving, which includes driving in any way that shows a disregard for safety or property can also lead to the same penalties.

As for a DUI, if you take a cough syrup containing alcohol or are clearly impaired by the side effects of the drug, then you could face a DUI for driving while under the influence of a medication. Many people don’t realize that it’s possible to get a DUI when taking legal, over-the-counter drugs, but you could if you crash or are driving dangerously while on the medication.

What should you do to avoid these problems?

To avoid the risk of facing a DUI or reckless driving charge when you have a cold or the flu, it’s reasonable to consider calling off from work, asking to work remotely for the day or getting a ride with someone else. Even if you don’t think that the medication will cause you to be unsafe on the roads, sneezing, coughing and other behaviors could take your mind off what you’re doing and cause distractions. For your own safety, as well as others’, consider alternatives ways to get to work.

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