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How Allergy Medicine Could Affect Your Licence

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, June 23, 2017

As an employer, you could conduct real-time licence checks on your drivers only to discover that one of them has a history of impaired driving. But what does that mean? Was that driver caught behind the wheel after drinking or taking illicit drugs? Possibly. But it could also mean something a lot more innocent. The incident in question could have been nothing more than driving after taking allergy medicine.

A 6th June story written by The Sun's Joe Finnerty is a great reminder of how easily something as simple and basic as hay fever medicine could affect your driving licence. As Finnerty explains in his article, some medicines used to treat hay fever and other allergies are subject to the same driving restrictions as alcohol and illicit drugs. These are medicines that can affect vision, hearing and reaction times.

UK law puts any medications that could impair one's ability to drive in the same category as cannabis and cocaine, according to Finnerty. He specifically mentioned hay fever medications that cause symptoms including dizziness and sleepiness. Being caught driving while under the influence of such medications could mean the loss of your licence and possible prison time.

Tips for Staying out of Trouble

The Sun report offers five tips for staying out of trouble during allergy season. First, drivers suffering from hay fever or similar analogies are advised to talk to their doctors or pharmacists about the medicines they are taking. They should be asking whether those medicines can impair driving ability.

The other four tips are as follows:

  1. Do not drive if allergy medicine creates any potentially dangerous side effects, like drowsiness.
  2. If allergy medicine is making you drowsy, ask your doctor or pharmacist for an alternative.
  3. Pharmacists should be consulted even for over-the-counter medications.
  4. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any medication label warnings you do not understand.

As an employer with drivers on the payroll, you should be going above and beyond real-time licence checks to remind your drivers of the dangers of getting behind the wheel while using certain kinds of allergy medications. If you or your drivers are at all unsure about the implications of any medication, do not come down hard on the driver. Encourage him or her to speak with a doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

Sources:

Sun – https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/3734495/taking-hay-fever-tablets-this-summer-could-land-you-with-a-huge-fine-and-a-driving-ban/

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