Back in the old days, one staple remedy everyone swore by was whiskey. Not everyone can stomach the taste or strength of straight whiskey, so the infamous hot toddy became the obvious choice to battle flu bugs. It is actually proven that a hot toddy or whiskey can help alleviate some cold symptoms, but it can also be a big danger if you have to drive.
A DUI means you are charged with driving a vehicle while under the influence of ANY chemical, not just alcohol.
Cold medicines, whether whiskey-based or an over-the-counter cough suppressant affect response time. On top of having a sluggish mind from the cold or flu you are experiencing, adding medications or alcohol will only increase those feelings and affect your judgment at the same time. You may be able to breathe a bit better through your nose, but you may also feel sleepier, or a lot more alert and jumpy, or jittery, or all of the above. As a result, when you then jump into your car, you could be headed directly for a DUI, a day in court, and an ignition interlock device.
Speaking of interlocks, remember that cold medicines made with alcohol can also affect your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading. Your ignition interlock device is set to detect BAC that is well below any DUI limit, and that means your cough medicine or that hot toddy you have been nursing could create an interlock violation situation.
You may swear by whiskey or another congestion relieving product, and you are right – they can work wonders. They also can cause a DUI you were not expecting. This winter is already adding up to a lot of cold, miserable weather and the last thing any of us need is a cold, the flu, or a DUI. Keep washing your hands, get enough rest, and make sure that the fluids you drink cannot impair your ability to safely drive.