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RAC Warns Hay Fever Sufferers They Could Be Arrested If They Drive While Taking Antihistamine Tablets

RAC Warns Hay Fever Sufferers They Could Be Arrested If They Drive While Taking Antihistamine Tablets

RAC have issued a warning to Brits with hay fever

Troubling hay fever symptoms such as - sneezing, crying, headaches - are about to get even more troubling if you're driving.

RAC has warned hay fever sufferers in the UK that they could be arrested for being behind the wheel after having antihistamines.

For many of us, taking antihistamine often seems like the only way to get some relief from the constant sneezing and irritation during the summer season.

However, possible side affects include drowsiness, nausea and even blurred vision. And although the drugs are perfectly legal to take, the automotive services company points out that it remains illegal to drive if you’re unfit to do so.

Notably, it's always worth checking the packaging for any information on whether the antihistamine is suitable for consumption while driving.


RAC claims that the side-effects can 'make you more likely to have an accident'.

The service company said: "If you do cause a crash, you could end up with a criminal record. The police can ask you to do a ‘field impairment assessment’ and take a roadside drugalyser test.

"If they think you’re not fit to drive, you’ll be arrested and could be prosecuted.

"A conviction for drug-driving carries a minimum one-year driving ban and an unlimited fine. In extreme cases, you could receive a six-month jail sentence."

As a precaution, they added: "Always check the label of any medication you take before getting behind the wheel.

"If in doubt, ask your pharmacist if it could affect your ability to drive. Some remedies are covered by the same drug-driving laws as cocaine and cannabis.

"If your symptoms are mild, stick to nasal sprays and eye drops that won’t cause drowsiness.

"Keep windows closed, even when parked – if left open they can trap pollen in the car."

A motoring expert at Peter Vardy also claims that driving with symptoms of hay fever could land you with a £1,000 fine.

Craig Forbes, motoring expert at Peter Vardy, says: "Drivers must take responsibility for assessing their own fitness to drive when experiencing symptoms."

"There are ways to minimise symptoms of hay fever during spring, but if your eyes are extremely watery and you feel unwell, your driving could be impaired and you may wish to consider alternative travel in order to avoid a fine."

According to the Highway Code, ‘failure to have proper control of the vehicle and a full view of the road,’ can be punishable by an £1,000 fine.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Weather, UK News