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Drivers are being warned that if they are in a collision whilst taking over the counter hayfever medicine they could face a large fine and a driving ban.
Normal hay fever tablets on sale in pharmacies can affect your vision, hearing, and reaction times, making drivers more likely to be involved in a crash.
If you are involved in a crash whilst under the influence of the tablets you could even find yourself with a criminal record.
Hay fever medication and other over the counter pills are covered by the same driving laws as illegal drugs like cannabis and cocaine. That might sound silly, but it covers all drugs that might reasonably impair your ability to drive.
Hayfever medication can cause dizziness, sickness, and drowsiness, which would fairly affect your reaction times if they were called upon to avoid a collision.
If you're convicted, the offence carries a minimum one year ban from driving as well as an unlimited fine.
It can even land you in prison and with a mark against your name for 11 years on your criminal record.
The police have the power to pull you over and test you if they think that you are under the influence of anything. They can perform a 'field impairment assessment' which involves stuff like the classic 'walk a straight line test'.
They can also do a 'drugalyser' test which can rule out things like cannabis and cocaine. If they find that you are unsafe to drive because you're on drugs you'll be arrested and taken down to the station for a blood or urine test.
There are a lot of prescription drugs that are also covered, fairly common drugs like diazepam and temazepam, and - of course - morphine can be pretty debilitating, never mind if you're behind the wheel of a car.
Don't worry too much though - if you are using the drugs correctly, have been prescribed them, and they are not causing you to be unfit to drive, you'll be fine.
It's important to remember though if you are a hay fever sufferer. Don't get in the car unless you are sure they aren't affecting you.
Breakdown company GEM Motoring Assist's road safety officer Neil Worth offers this advice: "Some medicines, including those used to treat hay fever, can have an effect on your ability to drive safely.
"They can affect your vision, your hearing, your reaction time, your perception of risk and your ability to carry out a variety of tasks.
He continued: "Your vision may be blurred, and you may also find it hard to focus or pay attention. Symptoms like this make you much more likely to be involved in a collision."
Basically, if you're taking hay fever pills - and lots of us do - just check that you feel OK to drive before you do or face the consequences.
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