Motorists risk hefty fines for driving on certain common medications

Driving in winter can be an incredibly tricky task, with icy roads, frosty windscreens and flat batteries all becoming common place – but even driving with a common cold could land you in heaps of trouble according to some experts.

Some medications, including everyday painkillers such as Codeine can affect your ability to drive safely, due to the side effects they may induce like drowsiness and dizziness. To help reduce accidents, experts warn that you should always consult with your GP before taking your car for a spin when taking new medication.

Failing to tell the DVLA about certain conditions can also land you in hot water with the law, leading to potential £1,000 fines. The RAC’s official website warns: “Many legal medicines and widely-used painkillers could impair your driving and it’s an offence in England, Scotland, and Wales to drive with specified limits of certain drugs in your blood.

“Drivers convicted for drug-driving face a minimum one-year ban and a criminal record so it pays to be vigilant when using even common prescription drugs. You can also receive an unlimited fine, up to six months in prison, and your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving for the next 11 years.

“The maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving under the influence of drugs is life imprisonment.”

The Government recommends that people should always consult with a doctor before driving on the following medications, as reported by The Mirror:

  • Amphetamine, for example dexamphetamine or selegiline
  • Clonazepam
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Methadone
  • Morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, for example codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam

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