Statistics show an increase in the number of arrests for driving while impaired by drugs or medication.
The presence of drugs or medication in the bloodstream was detected in approximately 37% of deceased drivers who were tested. However, it does not necessarily mean that these drivers were actually impaired when the accident happened.
During tests, cannabis was most frequently detected (21%), followed by cocaine (10%), benzodiazepines (9%) and amphetamines (9%).
This can be explained in particular by the fact that police officers have more ways to screen drivers suspected of driving while impaired by drugs.
Some medications prescribed by health care professionals or sold over the counter can affect your ability to drive because they may cause:
These medications can include tranquilizers, antidepressants, sleeping pills, antihistamines (for allergies), decongestants (for sinus problems or coughing, etc.), muscle relaxants and others, such as painkillers that contain opioids or other substances.
Almost all types of medications can cause side effects that affect your ability to drive, and these side effects may vary from person to person. Medications that cause drowsiness are particularly dangerous when driving.
Consult your physician or pharmacist to know about the effects of your medication on driving.
Carefully read the instructions and pay special attention to any contraindications to driving, regardless of whether the medication is prescribed by a physician or sold over the counter.
Mixing alcohol with drugs or medication accelerates and amplifies impairment. For example, mixing alcohol with cannabis multiplies your risk of having an accident by 15.
Last update: June 3, 2022