Medicines like Ibuprofen and antihistamines can result in fines of up to €1,000 if caught driving

WARNING: Motorists can be fined for taking certain common medicines before driving CREDIT: Flickr

THERE are a number of medicines such as Ibuprofen, antihistamines or allergy tablets that can have similar effects on the body as cannabis or cocaine, according to the Guardia Civil.

As such, it is possible for them to register on a breathalyser designed to detect illicit drugs and drivers may be fined for using them if they don’t have a prescription.

There are about 5,000 prescription and non-prescription drugs that have adverse psychoactive or cardiovascular effects that can worsen a driver’s performance and give false positives on police breathalyser tests according to the Spanish Medicines Agency.


The penalty for failing a breathalyser is an on-the-spot fine of up to €1,000 and six points.

One DGT study posited that around 11 per cent of all drivers in Spain use benzodiazepines in some form on a regular basis. Benzos are psychoactive drugs and despite the fact that they are readily available over the counter, the DGT warn that they can seriously affect driving performance as they are essentially mild sedatives.

Whilst benzodiazepines aren’t specifically tested for in breathalysers, they can be picked up later in the urine tests that follow.


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