Do Over the Counter Drugs Affect a Person’s B.A.C.?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

The answer is no; however, many medications can have an impact on a person's level of impairment and judgment.  There is no simple answer to this question. 

As I have written before, the reason so many people are charged with a DUI is that their judgment is affected by alcohol, and as a result, they make decisions they would not ordinarily make.  When you add in medications, that by themselves can affect motor skills and judgment, the combination can lead to bad decision-making.

The medications are unlikely to change a person's blood alcohol level.  However, they may exaggerate a feeling of euphoria, and as well as decrease a person's vision, motor skills, and logical reasoning.  As a result, a person may manifest indicia of greater impairment than their actual B.A.C. would show.

The Standard in Georgia:

We do not have a “legal limit” in Georgia.  We have a presumption of impairment at .08, but more people are charged with the offense of DUI Less Safe

DUI Less Safe means that a driver is not as safe to drive then had they not consumed alcohol, drugs, or the combination of substances.  The combination of substances can include prescription and over-the-counter medications.

As a result, when medications exaggerate the effects of alcohol consumed, a driver can and will be charged with a DUI in Georgia, even though the medication did not change the actual blood alcohol level.

The Moral of the Story:

Even people who know exactly their alcohol consumption tolerance should be careful when taking medications, especially new drugs for which they have no history.  Be careful to limit or eliminate drinking while taking medications.  Furthermore, speak to your doctor before driving or operating any heavy machinery while being prescribed any narcotic.

Use your commons sense and drive safely.  Consider your well-being and the well-being of others on our roads.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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