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DUI for taking Tylenol PM? Yes, it has happened

A man in Georgia recently shared his story about being pulled over and arrested for impaired driving. There was no alcohol in his system, but he was still charged with DUI. Why? For the small amount of Tylenol PM noted on his toxicology report.

According to the man, police claim to have clocked him speeding in a 35 mph zone. When he was pulled over, the officer asked if he had anything to drink or any drugs in his system, he said no. Still, his hands were cuffed and he was arrested -- in front of his kids -- and charged with DUI-Drugs and child endangerment. A blood sample was taken and a small amount of the over-the-counter sleep aid that he took nearly 24 hours prior to his arrest was found in his system.

This individual's case did go to court and the charges against him were ultimately dismissed. It was not without some effort, though. Police were asked if they felt bad about putting this individual and his family through this and they basically said no.

Certain over-the-counter medications do contain substances that can be as impairing as alcohol. There is a reason that police officers in Georgia have to use their judgment when deciding if a potential DUI is the result of drugs: there are no tests that give immediate feedback in such cases. Toxicology results can take days to weeks to get back. Unfortunately, this means that a number of people are wrongly charged and forced to clear their names which is not necessarily an easy task. With legal assistance those charged with DUI-Drugs can take the steps necessary to fight their cases and seek to have the charges dismissed or at least reduced.

Source:, "The Drug Whisperer: How a single over-the-counter allergy pill nearly cost a man his children", Brendan Keefe and Michael King, Sept. 24, 2017

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