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Cough Syrup while Driving: Can We Refuse a Breathalyzer?

26 Juillet 2013 - Défi Media Group

Cough Syrup while  Driving: Can We Refuse a Breathalyzer?

In this winter season, the flu affects many people. Among the most common symptoms, there is coughing. To remedy this, doctors prescribe syrup, as was the case for Richard Duval.

The latter, after a car accident, did not want to submit to a breath test, because he had taken the syrup. "The Duel" on Wednesday, officiated by Dinesh Seeharee, opposed the psychiatrist Geeaneswar Gaya and lawyer Viren Ramchurn.


Dr Gaya Geeaneswar: "If you drink alcohol you should not drive"

> Is it advisable for a patient taking the cough syrup to drive?

The cough syrups contain several ingredients. Some include codeine, which is very effective against cough. Codeine is a drug.

> Codeine can cause hallucinations she driving?

Of course, it is a drug! If you take more than is needed, it can cause visual hallucinations and even audiences.

> A doctor should it prevent a patient when prescribing a drug that can be dangerous, especially if it takes the wheel after consuming a syrup containing codeine?

This is his first duty, if he does not say it is a mistake!

> If a person finds himself in court after failing a breathalyzer test because of a cough syrup, the doctor may defend it in court?

Not if she is tested positive and she took the cough syrup containing codeine. By law, if you consume alcohol, you should not drive. This is wrong. If you do stop, what do you say? You took the cough syrup ... In all drugs against cough there is a little alcohol, very little can be detected.

> So, a person who took the cough syrup must assume its responsibilities?

Of course!

> In your experience, is it a case that can be easily defended in court?

Any person who has a case in court seek a lawyer or an attorney to defend her.

> But not a doctor on the scene?

Not. 

Mr Viren Ramchurn: "If it has a reasonable excuse, a person may refuse the breathalyzer"

> About those undergoing medical treatment, including those taking syrup that causes hallucinations if they get behind the wheel, is it considered an offense?

It is known that some cough syrups contain alcohol. If a person drives and is under the influence of this type of medication prescribed by a doctor, the law allows. There is a provision in the law that allows it. The Road Traffic Act states that a person with reasonable excuse, refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. However, it must be able to justify how she got that alcohol levels in the body.

> This person must provide an official medical certificate and may refuse a test because she took the cough syrup?

It must be able to justify it. If a person has a headache, for example, and his doctor prescribed a type of medication is the person to justify it. It should seek a doctor to prove that at the time of driving while under the influence of this drug that contained alcohol.


> A person whose breath test proved positive and must appear in court, it can get by without condemnation?

There are many cases where people have not been convicted. There are judgments of the Supreme Court and District Court. The law allows. This is in section 123 of the Road Traffic Act. If a person has a reasonable excuse, it must prove it. This reasonable excuse must come from a duly supported by his doctor in court prescription. It must prove to the satisfaction of the Court that it has taken this medicine under medical prescription.


> The doctor needs to be present in court?

Yes. In most cases I've had, the doctors came to testify in court

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