Can Over-the-Counter Medication Be a Factor in a DUI Case?

Interviewer: How about cases concerning over-the-counter medications, such as cough medicines or diet pills? Do they ever show up as a factor in DUI cases?

Brian: They can. Cough medicine will show up as far as alcohol goes. Someone would have to consume a lot of cough medicine, liquid cough medicine, to have a high blood alcohol content but it does happen.

The defendant will often say, “I had a cough, I was just taking cough medicine.” Within that cough medicine is alcohol and that can lead to impairment and that can lead to a blood alcohol level test result above prescribed limits.

There are some over-the-counter medications that actually can cause issues in DUI including one type of inhaler; I believe is put out by “Vicks”.

Read Your Labels: There Is an Over-the Counter Medication That Contains Methamphetamine

This inhaler, if taken the correct way, can show the presence of methamphetamine in a person’s system. That becomes very problematic because something you can get over-the-counter shows the presence of a drug that is considered very detrimental.

Interviewer: Many over-the-counter drugs contain psuedoephedrine as an ingredient. Will that mimic as methamphetamines?

Brian: It can show up as methamphetamines and amphetamines. I believe it can be determined by whether there is a presence of amphetamines. That would distinguish between whether someone was taking methamphetamine itself or was possibly using one of the inhalers.

That is something that very likely you would need not only a scientist to take the stand as a defense witness, but you would also need to have the client take the stand to explain they did not truly take meth, they used this cold remedy put out by “Vicks”.

Interviewer: I believe NyQuil is pretty popular. There is psuedoephedrine in cough syrups and inhalers such as Primatine Mist.

Brian: More likely, if someone was taking it as directed on the bottle they are not going to have levels high enough to indicate that there is even a presence of the chemical composition to show positive results.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

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Why Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?
Phoenix DUI Lawyer

Why Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?


18+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense


4,100+ DUIs Successfully Defended

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  • Only DUI "Power Lawyer" in the Nation Featured in USA Today, 2022

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“I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.”

I have spent my entire career focused on DUI Defense representation, having personally defended more than 4,100+ DUI clients in the past 18+ years.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney, tax attorney, or civil attorney, then I can comfortably say: "I’m not the one for you".

Coming up with traditional, as well as outside-the-box motions and defenses for my clients, often with good results, is the hallmark of my practice.

Lawyers that say they are "aggressive", or "will fight for you", are a dime a dozen. They use these phrases because that is what they think people want to hear. The truth of the matter is, being "aggressive" rarely gets the client anywhere in these court systems. Being "aggressive" isn’t the same as being good, and is often used to put on a show for a client to hide the fact that they aren’t doing anything meaningful for the client.

The same is true for the lawyers that claim to do DUI Defense... and Criminal Cases..., and Accident cases..., and Divorces. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none. By handling all different sorts of cases, they take away from their ability to truly focus on DUIs, and keep up to date on the latest changes in DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI Defense, at an exceptional price.

I am one of only a handful of Arizona DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.

I have not only taught other lawyers how to do DUI Defense Representation at statewide seminars, but I produce DUI Legal Guides used by defense lawyers across Arizona.

I am one of the most award-winning DUI Defense Lawyers in Arizona; have been recognized nationally, including in a 2022 issue of USA Today; and there are only a few lawyers in Arizona who have personally defended more DUI cases than I have. I am also one of the most reasonably-priced DUI Lawyers, as I pride myself on charging a Flat Rate only for the legal services you need, and not for the legal services you don’t.

I am also the lawyer who people call once they realize that their original lawyer screwed something up, gave them false hope or false promises, or simply just took their money and didn’t do much on the case. You would be surprised at how often this happens.

Save yourself the trouble of hiring the wrong lawyer, and hire the right DUI Defense Lawyer from the start.

You can reach me on my personal cell phone: 480-720-7839.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Brian Douglas Sloan

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Phoenix, AZ 85004