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Common medications may impact your BAC

You may currently have a prescription for medication that you need to take for any number of conditions. You never leave home without the pill bottle because you know if you get pulled over, the police may arrest you for not having them secure.

Did you know that many common drugs interact with blood alcohol concentration? If you find yourself on the receiving end of a traffic stop on suspicion of driving under the influence, you may quickly learn that one beer mixed with your medication lands you in one of Pennsylvania's three DUI categories.

Three DUI categories

Pennsylvania law created three tiers of BAC content, each one corresponding to the charges one can face. The higher the BAC, the more likely you may face jail time for your infraction, especially if it is not your first one.

  • General impairment: 0.08 percent to 0.99 percent BAC
  • High impairment: 0.10 percent to 0.159 percent BAC
  • Highest impairment: 0.16 percent BAC and up

Mixing certain common drugs with alcohol may result in a bump up from one tier to the next, resulting in higher fines and consequences.

Asthma medication

Asthma and other breathing problems require those afflicted to carry around an inhaler which provides immediate and life-saving relief. The medication released opens airways with the help of drugs such as albuterol. This drug combined with its delivery system can cause your BAC to climb even if you did not consume any alcohol.

Allergy medication

With springtime on the horizon, many people start to feel the effects of seasonal allergies. Many common over-the-counter allergy medications have a negative interaction with alcohol and may amplify the effects of alcohol on the brain. Antihistamines and alcohol do not always play well together in the bloodstream; thus, do not drink while on this medication.

Getting behind the wheel after a few drinks is never a good idea, especially if you have taken medication. You may quickly lose your faculties and start driving erratically, or worse, cause an accident that injures others.

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