Chapter 3. Physiological Factors: Part 2

Florida Drug and Alcohol Test (TLSAE) Course:  Chapter 3. Physiological Factors: Part 2


Section 3.2. Prescription and Over-the-counter Medications


Alcohol is not just a drug: it is a poison, a food, and a drug. As stated earlier, it is one of the fastest substances absorbed into the human body.

Have you ever read the label on an over-the-counter medication? Makers of various drugs add alcohol to their products. Do you know why? Mixing alcohol with the medication makes it get into a person's system faster. Once it is in your bloodstream, the medication cannot be eliminated by any other means than by being processed by the liver. This process takes varying amounts of time, depending on the medication.


Did you know you can be charged with a DUI for taking cough medicine? You can get a DUI for driving under the influence of any drug that you should have known might affect your driving. You may not realize that the cold medicine they take could cause a level of impairment similar to that of drinking alcohol and could even result in arrest and conviction of DUI. Many medicines cause drowsiness, dizziness, and other effects that can impair your driving. You must read labels carefully and never drive after taking any drug, including over-the-counter drugs, that might impair your driving.

TAKING ANY DRUG THAT AFFECTS YOUR DRIVING ABILITY CAN RESULT IN A DUI

Some Prescription and Over-the-counter Drugs Don't Mix With Driving

Many people will take drugs to stop a headache, relieve the symptoms of a cold, or kill an infection. Many people need drugs to manage chronic diseases. Some people just take drugs to get high and feel good. Whatever the reason, drugs can have the effect of reducing a person's driving skills. Some drugs have an effect on driving that is similar to the effect of a high alcohol concentration. Coordination, decision-making, and reaction time can be affected.

Some people say, "It must be safe; my doctor prescribed it." But even though that prescription might be good for what ails you, it could affect your driving skills. Always read the label and ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications are required to have printed warnings about side effects, including driving risks. The problem is, many people don't read the warning or they don't believe it is meant for them. Always take the prescribed or recommended dosage, and never take more than one drug at once before consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Even seemingly harmless drugs can cause problems when used in large quantities or mixed with other medications.



Effects of Drugs on Your Driving

Did you know?
  1. Taking sedating antidepressants even 10 hours before driving is equal to driving impaired.
  2. Ten mg of Valium can cause greater driving impairment than an alcohol concentration of 0.10.
  3. Antihistamines - which block allergic reactions - slow down reaction time and impair coordination.
  4. Over-the-counter decongestants can cause drowsiness, anxiety, and dizziness.
Some drugs may make you feel alert and confident when you're driving, when in reality, the situation may be quite different. Drugs can fool you into believing you're in control of your driving when you are, in fact, impaired.

Some prescription drugs cause reflexes to slow and may also have an effect on vision and/or judgment. But the doctor told me to take it! The doctor did not tell you to take it and then get behind the wheel. The doctor doesn't get the DUI - YOU GET THE DUI!

Here is a partial list of legal drugs that can - in the right amount - impair your ability to drive.

  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Stimulants
  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Allergy medicines
  • Blood sugar medicines
  • Antidepressants
  • Tranquilizers
  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Ulcer medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-seizure medicines
  • Paregoric
  • Anti-nausea medicine
  • Sedatives
  • Cough syrups
  • Alcohol-containing medicines
  • Caffeine-containing medicines
  • Decongestants

Remember: Ask Your Doctor
Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible drug side effects, including those that would impair your driving. Drugs taken orally usually enter the system more slowly than those taken by injection or inhaling. Find out what to expect and then be prepared.

Summary
The youngest (and least experienced) and the oldest (most likely to be taking medication) drivers are at the greatest risk from drug-impaired driving. Not everyone reacts the same way to drugs. The effects of drugs on your driving abilities can continue many hours after you take the drug. Do not drive after taking drugs which might impair your driving. A designated driver is often a good solution to a possible driving problem.

A new survey from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Nationwide Insurance found that 3 out of 4 people use designated drivers (DD). By the way, the DD is NOT the least drunk person in the group---they are the ones who don’t use any drug or alcohol at all at a party or event, even a little bit. A designated driver does not consume any amount of alcohol or use any kind of drug  or even take medication that might impair their driving. If you observe the designated driver consuming alcohol, find another alternative.

Sources:

(National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): http://drugabuse.gov/drugpages/)

(NIDA: http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/driving.html)

(AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/KnowledgeAboutMedicationsAndDrivingReport.pdf)



Florida Drug and Alcohol Test (TLSAE) Course:


Florida TLSAE/Drug & Alcohol 4 hour Course Online

Who is required to take this 4-hour drug and alcohol course?


This is a first-time drivers ed course for new aspiring drivers. The state of Florida requires all new drivers take a 4-hour drug and alcohol course. If you want your Permit License you must take this course. You can take the DATA course when you are 14 1/2. You can sign up right now at our website. Our course is easy and fun!
  •     Florida 4 hour first-time drivers course also referred as:
  •     TLSAE - Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education
  •     DATA - Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness course
  •     DATE Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness Education course
  •     ADAPT - Alcohol Drugs Accident Prevention Training
  •     Drug & Alcohol Course or Drug and Alcohol Class
  •     Florida Permit Test or Florida Permit Exam Course
  •     The Permit Test is also known as the DMV Exam or DMV Test
Florida first time driver course required to get a Florida drivers license. Florida first time driver courses teach drivers how drugs and alcohol affect driving,. In that situation you have to go home, make a new appointment and return the DMV. Every new driver is required to take a Florida TLSAE course.

Enroll your Florida 4 hour drug and alcohol course online and meet your learner's permit requirement.

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