PEI

Charlottetown police warn about misuse of over-the-counter meds

Charlottetown police are reminding drivers that misuse of some over-the-counter medications can lead to impaired driving.

'I've had a couple of people that are surprised and say, 'Wow I really am impaired, aren't I?''

Charlottetown police urge people to follow instructions on over-the-counter medication to avoid problems behind the wheel. ((iStock))

Charlottetown police are reminding drivers that misuse of some over-the-counter medications can lead to impaired driving.

Drug recognition expert Const. Ron Kennedy said most people think of impaired driving as involving alcohol and illegal or prescription drugs.

I've had a couple of people that are surprised and say, 'Wow I really am impaired, aren't I?'- Const. Ron Kennedy

But he said not following the dosage instructions on things like nighttime cold medicines or sleep aids can also result in impaired driving and a criminal charge.

"There are quite a few over-the-counter medications that if you took beyond their recommended dosages, that could impair you," said Kennedy.

"Everyone knows Gravol can make you sleepy ... so you take more than the recommended dosage of Gravol, you can make yourself impaired. Same thing with some of these over-the-counter medications that help you fall asleep."

Const. Ron Kennedy says drivers need to be careful about medications when driving. (Submitted)

Kennedy said most people follow the medication instructions and know when they shouldn't drive.

But for those who don't, being pulled over by police for impairment can come as an unpleasant surprise when the drug testing is conducted.

"I've had a couple of people that are surprised and say, 'Wow I really am impaired, aren't I?'"

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