Motorists warned of everyday corrective measures that could earn them fines and penalty points

SNIFFLY drivers have been warned they could face a whopping £5,000 fine and jail time if they kick back hay fever pills before getting behind the wheel.

That’s because some pills Brits take to combat the crippling effects of pollen are so potent that experts say they’ll put you under the influence and stop you driving.

Hay fever pills can make you sleepy and tired, which affects your ability to drive


Hay fever pills can make you sleepy and tired, which affects your ability to drivePhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

Hay fever pills can make you feel drowsy and tired, which affects your ability to drive and, incredibly, this can lead to a drug abuse conviction.

This is because state legislation prohibiting drinking and driving does not differentiate between illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs.

With one in four Britons suffering from hay fever, 16 million Britons are at risk of driving under the influence of alcohol – although many have absolutely no idea.

The extraordinary warning from car insurance comparison website comes as the Met Office forecast pollen counts to rise from medium to high this weekend.

But fear not, as there are steps you can take to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

This includes checking your medication before you get in the car.

While motorists can also protect themselves by closing the window when traveling and planning when to drive to avoid intense pollen loads.

It is also recommended to equip your car with hay fever tablets that will not make you drowsy.

Greg Wilson, founder of the site, said: “Most people assume that the term ‘drug driving’ refers to driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

“But the truth is, driving after ingestion of any type of drug can result in a driving conviction if the driver’s ability to drive is impaired.

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“While some hay fever medications do not induce drowsiness, some types do cause drowsiness, and some prescription hay fever tablets in particular carry a warning not to operate heavy machinery.”

He continued: “If a driver doesn’t heed this warning and gets behind the wheel, they can risk a hefty fine of up to £5,000 and points on their driving licence, and endanger themselves and other road users.”


Five driving tips for hay fever sufferers:

  1. Check medication – Antihistamines and hay fever medications can vary in strength, consult your doctor if in doubt about possible side effects and always read the label.
  2. plan trips – Check the Met Office pollen alerts or download the weather app.
  3. Keep the car pollen-free as much as possible – Regularly clean the car of dust that could cause symptoms before driving, change the pollen filters in the car’s ventilation system and keep the car windows closed while driving.
  4. Stock up – Have the car ready with fresh tissues, hay fever medication, a bottle of water, eye drops and anything used to relieve symptoms.
  5. Drive safely – better play it safe, give other road users plenty of space and take breaks when hay fever symptoms appear. Motorists warned of everyday corrective measures that could earn them fines and penalty points

Fry Electronics Team

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